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Exploring the future of faith, spirituality and religion

Buddha statue on the hills shot from afar
Jamie Street/Unsplash
Jun 13, 2023 By WGSN Insider
Updates from WGSN

From alternative and fastest-growing religions to a religious text written by AI, here’s how faith and spirituality will manifest over the next decade.

WGSN CEO Carla Buzasi speaks to Brielle Saggese, Strategist on WGSN Insight, to learn about how we interact with religion and how that might change when we start to leverage technology and incorporate social media.

Brielle has authored various reports on this topic that can be found on WGSN. Her knowledge from extensive research, combined with her lived experience with religion from her childhood to now, makes her best placed to give us insight into this subject, with a focus on how young people are searching for meaning and how that will impact in-person experiences, aesthetics and rituals.

Could AI gods and TikTok cults be the faiths of the future? Tune in to find out.

Hindu temple against background of sky
Andreas M/Unsplash

Atheists, agnostics and ‘nones’

“There’s the rise of the ‘nones’ – people that don’t believe anything at all. When we dove into this group, a lot of young people say they are actually more religious than we thought. One survey of those 18-25 found 71% considered themselves to be slightly religious. So this meant they had some kind of belief, but didn’t want to necessarily engage with a traditional religious institution.”

Top of church building with a cross and bell

Using technology to replicate the community experience

“Experts are predicting that ChatGPT is capable of starting a new religion in the coming months, essentially going to create its own religious text for people that might be interested in a more cultish type of faith. But it’s also interesting as we talk about collective effervescence, the ways that tech can emulate that experience when it’s working properly. I don’t foresee tech replacing religion, but it is able to give us some of the effects or benefits that people may be searching for.”

Panorama view of mosque
Nick Fewings/Unsplash

Redefining the modesty culture

“What I’m excited about with modesty culture is the way it’s divorcing itself from religion. Traditionally when we think about the word modesty, it has a moral sound to it. But we’re seeing a lot of non-religious people look into dressing modestly as an act of rebellion and this is really big right now in queer culture.”
– Brielle Saggese, Strategist, WGSN Insight

Head to Apple or Spotify to hear the full discussion on our Lives of Tomorrow podcast episode, Are AI Gods and TikTok Cults the Faith of the Future? Request a demo with WGSN to discover how brands can support consumers’ connection to religion.

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