Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults

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If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Read the full text. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation.

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Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. They also found substantial variation in spiritual beliefs and practices and in the link between religiosity and behavior. They emphasize cultural variability and exploration that shape the meaning and experience of emerging adulthood. Smith, Christian, with Patricia Snell.

Souls in transition: The religious and spiritual lives of emerging adults. New York: Oxford University Press. The book profiles spirituality and religious belief and participation in the transition from youth to early adulthood, concentrating on the ages of 18— It is highly accessible and based on good data. Containing both survey data and in-depth interviews, this book is a good window into the worldview of emerging adults themselves.

Souls in transition : the religious and spiritual lives of emerging adults

Losing my religion: The social sources of religious decline in early adulthood. Social Forces , 85 4 : — The authors use data from the National Survey of Adolescent Health, a large longitudinal study, to assess the sources of declining religiosity in early adulthood, with a focus on long-standing assumptions about the secularizing effects of higher education, normative deviance, and life-course factors.

They find that it is religious participation, not the importance of religion, that declines in early adulthood. The most extensive decline occurs among those not going to college, undermining conventional wisdom about the secularizing effects of higher education. They find that religious decline is curbed by marriage but increased by cohabitation, nonmarital sexual activity, and drug and alcohol use.

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Wuthnow, Robert. After the baby boomers: How twenty- and thirtysomethings are shaping the future of American religion. This book is mostly about the religious and spiritual lives of post-Boomer generations in the United States. Its main concerns are how changes in religiosity and spirituality for Americans under 40 will pose challenges for mainstream religious institutions and how those challenges can be overcome.

The strength of the book is that it looks at long-term and large-scale demographic transitions that affect all emerging adults. Kosmin, Barry A. The American Religious Identification Survey. The survey finds declines in religious participation, affiliation, and identification from to and a growing number of Americans who self-identify as secular. All of these trends are more prominent among emerging adults. Marler, Penny Long, and C. Kirk Hadaway.

Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion , 41, — Younger Americans those 45 or younger are more likely to describe themselves as spiritual and not religious. Roof, Wade Clark. A generation of seekers: The spiritual journeys of the baby boom generation. New York: HarperCollins. The author draws on survey data from over 2, surveys of Boomers in four states California, Massachusetts, Ohio, and North Carolina. The stories reflect the diverse range of experiences, from those engaging in New Age spirituality to bornagain Christians to those who have left or adopted an eclectic range of religious and spiritual practices.

In general, Roof found that Boomers value personal experience more highly than institutional sources as the basis for religious authority, distrust institutions, seek personal fulfillment over the expression of communal identity in their religious choices, change allegiances frequently, and are not oriented toward the preservation of religious doctrine. Ammerman, Nancy T. Golden Rule Christianity: Lived religion in the American mainstream.


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In David Hall Ed. The author draws on over interviews from participants in the Congregations in Changing Communities Project and on a survey of over 1, respondents. The interviews were oriented toward exploring the role of religion in everyday life and the role of congregations in local communities.

Leading Factors Leading To Lasting Faith!

She finds three orientations: an evangelical orientation that focuses on a personal relationship with Christ, an activist orientation that focuses on changing social structures, and what she calls Golden Rule Christianity. Golden Rule Christians include people who say that the most important attributes of a Christian are caring for the needy and living one's Christian values every day. The most important task of the church, they say, is service to people in need. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. This volume has chapters that explore a range of topics, from the religious demographics of the community to Christmas and other holiday rituals.

Edgell, Penny. It is innovative, full of rich narratives, and presents a wealth of accessible quantitative findings. The researchers acknowledge some of the accepted realities of the sociology of this group in general — longer periods in higher ed, marrying and having children later in life, extended financial support from parents, etc. Beyond this, they build on over in-depth interviews to describe their faith development during this critical life period. Some of these interviews are follow-ups with the participants in the first study.

They are less religious than older adults and not as religious as they were as teens; but they are certainly as religious as emerging adult groups of previous eras.

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Here are a few of the most significant features. First is chapter 2 that describes the larger cultural context of emerging adults great charts and graphs. Second is the factors that are most significant in determining whether those raised in faith maintain it into adulthood: parents and congregations. Like Soul-Searching before it, this is dense research. Flip through and mark the bullet-point summaries and then pick up the detail where you need it. How important is religion for young people in America today?

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