After the Baby Boomers: How Twenty- and Thirty-Somethings Are Shaping the Future of American Religion

After the Baby Boomers: How Twenty- and Thirty-Somethings Are Shaping the Future of American Religion

by Robert Wuthnow
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691127654

ISBN-13: 9780691127651

Pub. Date: 07/16/2007

Publisher: Princeton University Press

"Every generation is different, and in the post-boomers we have one that is as different as it gets. For those of us who care deeply about addressing the spiritual needs of this 'next wave,' Robert Wuthnow has given us an indispensable guide in this important book."—Richard J. Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary

"Interesting and

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Overview

"Every generation is different, and in the post-boomers we have one that is as different as it gets. For those of us who care deeply about addressing the spiritual needs of this 'next wave,' Robert Wuthnow has given us an indispensable guide in this important book."—Richard J. Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary

"Interesting and illuminating. There is a great deal of anxiety about the future of the church and its relation to young adults. This book speaks to those concerns, provides some sound empirical data for people to chew on, and will be often referenced."—Christian Smith, coauthor of Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers

"This book is a contribution for church leaders and others concerned about young adults and their involvements in organized religion. The data are new and valuable and shed new insights into the intricacies of religious commitment in our society. There is no other book I am aware of quite like this one."—Wade Clark Roof, author of Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691127651
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/16/2007
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables ix

Preface xiii

Chapter 1: AMERICAN RELIGION
An Uncertain Future 1

How to Think about Younger Adults 3

The Population of Young Adults 7

Coming of Age at Forty 9

The Religious Significance of Young Adults 12

A Generation of Tinkerers 13

An Uncertain Future 17

Chapter 2: THE CHANGING LIFE WORLDS OF YOUNG ADULTS
Seven Key Trends 20

Delayed Marriage 21

Children-- Fewer and Later 24

Uncertainties of Work and Money 28

Higher Education (for Some) 36

Loosening Relationships 37

Globalization 42

Culture--An Information Explosion 44

Summing Up 49

Chapter 3: GOING TO CHURCH--OR NOT
Who Participates in Congregations? 51

Attendance in Two Time Periods 52

The Reasons for Declining Participation 54

A Closer Look at Marriage and Children 62

Communities 65

Is the United States Becoming Like Europe? 66

The Profile of Regular Church Goers 68

Religious Attendance in Perspective 69

Chapter 4: THE MAJOR FAITH COMMUNITIES
Thinking Beyond Winners and Losers 71

The Significance of Young Adults 72

The Major Faith Traditions 75

Evangelicals and Mainline Protestants 77

Black Protestants, Catholics, and Jews 84

Other Faiths and the Nonaffiliated 86

Beyond Winners and Losers 87

Chapter 5: THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO (I THINK)
Recent Trends in Religious Beliefs 89

Some Possible Scenarios 90

Decline in Orthodox Beliefs 96

Orthodoxy, with Rising Secularity 98

Countervailing Effects of Diversity 101

Orthodoxy Mixed with Heterodoxy 103

Different Trends among Educational Categories 107

Changing Relationships with Education 108

Different Trends among Faith Communities 110

Chapter 6: SPIRITUALITY AND SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
The Role of Faith in Personal Life 112

Church Shopping and Hopping 114

Social Networks 117

Civility 120

Are Converts Different? 123

Seeking Answers 124

Spiritual Practices 127

Music and Art 129

Spiritual but Not Religious? 131

The Nature of Spiritual Tinkering 134

Chapter 7: FAITH AND FAMILY
Facing the Difficult Choices 136

Considering Marriage 136

Having Sex 138

Weddings 139

Marital Happiness 141

Parenting 142

Right and Wrong 145

Empathy 148

Threats to Today's Families 149

Seeking Support 151

Religious and Ethnic Diversity 152

Faith Matters 155

Chapter 8: THE DIVIDED GENERATION
Religion and Public Life 157

The Split between Conservatives and Liberals 160

Civil Religion 163

Voting in Presidential Elections 167

Mixing Religion and Politics 171

Hot-Button Issues: Abortion 173

Hot-Button Issues: Homosexuality 174

The Religious Right 177

War and Peace 179

Why It Matters 180

Chapter 9: EMERGING TRENDS
Immigration and Ethnic Diversity 183

Hispanic Catholics 183

A Note on Hispanic Protestants 187

Asian Americans 188

Hospitality or Hostility 193

A Closer Look at Church Involvement 197

Chapter 10: THE VIRTUAL CHURCH
Religious Uses of the Internet 201

Religion Websites 201

Social Issues 203

The Internet and Religious Music 206

Staying in Touch by E-mail 207

The Internet and Spiritual Seeking 209

Congregations and the Internet 212

Chapter 11: VITAL CONGREGATIONS
Youthful and Diverse 214

The Profile of Youthful Congregations 219

Minichurch or Megachurch 221

Alternative Styles of Worship 223

Meeting the Changing Needs of Families 225

Interreligious Programs 226

Opportunities for International Ministry 227

Opportunities for Service 228

A Future for Congregations 230

APPENDIX 233

The National Young Adults and Religion Study 233

Methodology 234

The Surveys and Other Data 238

Qualitative Interviews 247

Supplementary Tables 251

Notes 255

Selected Bibliography 279

Index 293

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