Hop-on Hop-off Spirituality

From Consumerism and Entertainment to Learning


  • Reet Hiiemäe Estonian Literary Museum


spirituality, learning, continuum of contemporary spiritualities


In contemporary spirituality-related thought and behaviour in Estonia (as well as in a number of other regions), a phenomenon can be observed that I call hop-on hop-off spirituality. This means testing and tasting of various forms of contemporary spirituality (via techniques, courses, lectures, books, etc.) out of curiosity or for fun or just because a friend said that this or that teaching has changed their life. Such experimenting can sometimes result in deeper spiritual involvement or change in worldview but often doesn’t bring along anything that could be defined as deeper spiritual or religious commitment or belonging. Based on interviews, questionnaire responses and written life-history narratives from Estonia from the 1990s to 2020s, I will analyse how the suggested term fits into the context of already existing definitions and terms related to “spirituality”, and how such “hop-on hop-off” participation can be still seen as a learning process that influences one’s values, meaning-making, coping models, and lifestyle.

How to Cite

Hiiemäe, R. (2024). Hop-on Hop-off Spirituality: From Consumerism and Entertainment to Learning. Approaching Religion, 14(2), 44–59. https://doi.org/10.30664/ar.137848