Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Young Adults in Their Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Faith / Edition 1

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Overview

The "twenty-something" years of young adulthood are increasingly recognized as critical but puzzling. These are years of searching, when most people make formative life decisions, for good and for ill. Looking for place and purpose in a changing world and asking new questions of meaning and faith, young adults reexamine their earlier beliefs and assumptions, as they encounter a bewildering array of new experiences and complex choices. In today's society, too many wander through this challenging time alone, without the presence of mentoring voices.

Building on the foundation she established in her classic work, The Critical Years, Sharon Daloz Parks urges thoughtful adults to assume responsibility for providing strategic mentorship during this important decade in life. She reveals also, however, the ways young adults are influenced not only by individual mentors but also by mentoring environments.

Furthermore, Parks asserts, the wider culture as a whole plays a mentoring role in the formation of each new generation of young adults, shaping the future of the culture itself. Through exploring young adult meaning-making and faith, and particularly the power of adult mentors to determine its quality, we may more fully recognize how young adults and their mentors can fuel the power and promise of cultural renewal.

Parks draws on her own research and insights from developmental psychology, religion, theology, leadership, and ethics to examine the underlying developmental patterns of this unique time of life—when one is no longer an adolescent and yet not quite fully adult. She shares a wealth of practical experience gained from thirty years of working with young adults. Through thought-provoking examples from across a broad range of contexts, professionals, educators, community leaders, supervisors, and parents will discover the many ways they can responsibly serve as guides and mentors to young adults, thus making a vital investment in the promise of the twenty-first century.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
As society becomes more complex and socially diverse, the stages of early adulthood lengthen and grow more complicated as well. Parks, an associate director of the Whidbey Institute, addresses this dilemma in this successor to The Critical Years: Young Adults and the Search for Meaning, Faith, and Commitment (1986). Drawing upon the developmental theories of Swiss cognitive psychologist Jean Piaget and others, she applies and broadens their insights to the spiritual journey young people face. Critical features include a movement from authority-based forms of meaning to self-reliance. She also presents a theory of imagination and its power to light the passions of a new generation. "Mentoring communities" are viewed as a powerful new form of social support for young adults. These relationships may be forged in higher education, job settings, or other institutions where young adults are encouraged to pursue worthy dreams rather than narrow self-interest. Thoughtful, stimulating, and well-referenced, this book is recommended for counselors and spiritual advisers and the academic collections that serve them.--Antoinette Brinkman, formerly with Southwest Indiana Mental Health Ctr. Lib., Evansville Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787941710
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

SHARON DALOZ PARKS is an associate director and member of the faculty at the Whidbey Institute, near Seattle. She has held faculty and senior research positions at Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Business School, the Kennedy School of Government, and the Weston School of Theology. She is coauthor of Common Fire: Leading Lives of Commitment in a Complex World; To Act Justly, Love TAnderly, Walk Humbly; and Can Ethics Be Taught?.

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Table of Contents

Young Adulthood in a Changing World: Promise and Vulnerability.

Meaning and Faith.

Becoming at Home in the Universe.

It Matters How We Think.

It All DepAnds . . .

. . . . On Belonging.

Imagination: The Power of Adult Faith.

The Gifts of a Mentoring Environment.

Mentoring Communities: Higher Education: A Community of Imagination o Professional Education and the Professions *
The Workplace *
Travel *
The Natural Environment *
Families *
Religious Faith Communities.

Culture as Mentor.

Notes.

The Author.

Index.

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