The Future as an Allusion

Using Social and Personal Forecasts to Uncover Explicit and Implicit Religion


  • Reginald W. Bibby University of Lethbridge



Implicit religion, invisible religion, uncovering invisible religion, uncovering implicit religion, invisible, invisible religion methodologies


The author’s research into attempts to anticipate the future has found that three dominant frameworks or what Charles Glock and Thomas Piazza have called “reality structures” are apparent. The first and second reality structures involve different degrees of determinism, and typically are found among scientists and other futurists who, of necessity, focus on collective rather than individual futures. By definition, their assumptions about the future do not include religion or other non-naturalistic phenomena. The third reality structure, however, is easily the most common, in large part because it uniquely addresses personal as well as collective futures and, in doing so, draws on a wide range of religious and other non-naturalistic resources. The bases of forecasts associated with this third reality structure may provide a rich source of unobtrusive data that “allude” to or give us important clues as to the presence of explicit and implicit religious expressions.


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How to Cite

Bibby, R. W. (2016). The Future as an Allusion: Using Social and Personal Forecasts to Uncover Explicit and Implicit Religion. Implicit Religion, 19(3), 439–454.