After the Baby Boomers: How Twenty- and Thirty-Somethings Are Shaping the Future of American Religion by Robert Wuthnow | 9780691146140 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
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: 0691146144

ISBN-13: 9780691146140

Pub. Date: 03/14/2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Much has been written about the profound impact the post-World War II baby boomers had on American religion. But the lifestyles and beliefs of the generation that has followed—and the influence these younger Americans in their twenties and thirties are having on the face of religion—are not so well understood. It is this next wave of post-boomers that

Overview

Much has been written about the profound impact the post-World War II baby boomers had on American religion. But the lifestyles and beliefs of the generation that has followed—and the influence these younger Americans in their twenties and thirties are having on the face of religion—are not so well understood. It is this next wave of post-boomers that Robert Wuthnow examines in this illuminating book.

What are their churchgoing habits and spiritual interests and needs? How does their faith affect their families, their communities, and their politics? Interpreting new evidence from scores of in-depth interviews and surveys, Wuthnow reveals a generation of younger adults who, unlike the baby boomers that preceded them, are taking their time establishing themselves in careers, getting married, starting families of their own, and settling down—resulting in an estimated six million fewer regular churchgoers. He shows how the recent growth in evangelicalism is tapering off, and traces how biblical literalism, while still popular, is becoming less dogmatic and more preoccupied with practical guidance. At the same time, Wuthnow explains how conflicts between religious liberals and conservatives continue—including among new immigrant groups such as Hispanics and Asians—and how in the absence of institutional support many post-boomers have taken a more individualistic, improvised approach to spirituality. Wuthnow's fascinating analysis also explores the impacts of the Internet and so-called virtual churches, and the appeal of megachurches.

After the Baby Boomers offers us a tantalizing look at the future of American religion for decades to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691146140
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/14/2010
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
942,772
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >