Apr 21, 2015

YOU are spiritual but not religious

The decision comes on page 8. The sound of screaming is coming from behind a locked door in a warehouse. You have to do something. What do you do?

If you try to break the door down, you turn to page 20.

If you run to get the warehouse manager, you turn to page 33.

Eighteen years after it was first announced, and 17 years after the original series concluded, a new Choose Your Own Adventure book has found its way to print. The manuscript for Escape from the Haunted Warehouse, which was found in the CYOA archival library, was reworked by the son of one of the series’ creators and released last week, on April 15. Like the classic books loved by children of the 1980s and ’90s, the story starts with a disclaimer: "BEWARE and WARNING," it says. "You and YOU ALONE are in charge of what happens in this story."

And like those classics, the story is built on a key idea of the American mode of spirituality known as "spiritual but not religious."

Read the full essay at Religion Dispatches: YOU are Spiritual but Not Religious: The secret spiritual history of the Choose Your Own Adventure books