Rainn Wilson, who played Dwight Shrute on the NBC sitcom The Office, takes a profound, humorous, reflective look at faith and spirituality in Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution (Hachette Go, Apr.). Wilson, whose earlier books include Soul PanCake: Chew on Life’s Big Questions and The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy, is fearless and funny in mining the world’s religious and spiritual traditions—including the Baha’i faith by which he was raised—for nuggets of truth and wisdom.

PW talked with Wilson about his ambitious quest to inspire believers and unbelievers alike.

Why did you call this book Soul Boom?

Faith and spirituality can be perceived as soft and sentimental and hippy-dippy and airy-fairy and, frequently, self-help-y. I wanted to use words like soul and spirituality, but punch them up a little bit and to make this book feel like it was different, it had some humor, it had some spark, and it had something distinctive to say around these topics.

Who is the audience you have in mind for this book?

I would love for it to be enjoyed by born-again Christians and by atheists, by agnostics, by young people that are “spiritual but not religious,” and everyone in between. I would love to provoke curiosity and discussions that put spiritual concepts and spiritual tools at the center. We need to, in a whole cloth way, completely reinvent and reimagine how we do pretty much everything.

How do you believe religion and spirituality inform each other?

Spirituality is those qualities of the divine that we all have within us that supersede, surpass, and transcend the mere physical. Religion is spirituality organized, so it’s spirituality within a context. Religion can be destructive. It can be corrupt and hierarchical in really toxic ways. But by discarding religion, we’ve been losing something. At its very best, organized religion allows and builds community.

You reference spiritual teachers from scripture, religious history, and television shows like Star Trek. What makes a great spiritual teacher, and do you consider yourself to be one?

Yes, I am one of the great spiritual teachers of the age, and I have secured the domain name guru.com. In that, you’ll just find my headshot and a cycling of my greatest tweets. [Laughs.] I think a great spiritual teacher is not a hypocrite. The Bible says, “You shall know them by their fruits. Be aware of false prophets.” So, get to know their fruits.

How do you respond if someone says they’re not spiritual at all, that spirituality has no relevance to their lives?

I would say that the fundamental building block of spirituality is love. So, if that person has love in their life, then they have spirituality in their life.