Passing on the Faith: Transforming Traditions for the Next Generation of Jews, Christians, and Muslims / Edition 1

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From the beginning, the Abrahamic faiths-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-have stressed the importance of transmitting religious identity from one generation to the next. Today, that sustaining mission has never been more challenged. Will young people have a faith to guide them? How can faith traditions anchor religious attachments in this secular, skeptical culture? The fruit of a historic gathering of scholars and religious leaders across three faiths and many disciplines, this important book reports on the religious lives of young people in today's world. It's also a unique inventory of creative and thoughtful responses from churches, synagogues, and mosques working to keep religion a significant force in those lives.The essays are grouped thematically. Opening the book, Melchor Sanchez de Toca and Nancy Ammerman explore fundamental issues that have an impact on religion-from the cultural effects of global consumerism and personal technology to pluralism and individualism. In Part Two, leading investigators present three leading studies of religiosity among young people and college students in the United States, illuminating the gap between personal values and organized religion-and the emergence of new, different forms of spirituality and faith. How religious institutions deal with these challenges forms the heart of the book-in portraits of best practicesdeveloped to revitalize traditional institutions, from a synagogue in New York City and a Muslim youth camp in California to the famed French Catholic community of the late Brother John of Taiz. Finally, Jack Miles and Diane Winston weave the findings into a broader perspective of the future of religious belief, practice, and feeling in a changing world.Filled with real-world wisdom, Passing the Faith will be an essential resource for anyone seeking to understand what religions must, and can, do to inspire a vigorous faith in the next generation.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Heft (faith & culture, Univ. of Dayton; editor, Believing Scholars: Ten Catholic Intellectuals) and 16 contributors discuss the influence of the Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—on succeeding generations since the 1960s. General studies of high school and college students are supplemented by a more detailed study of three specific communities. The findings provide ground for hope: faith is continuing—vague or completely personal "spirituality" is not eclipsing religion. Religious doctrine, worship or liturgy, private prayer, and ethical living out of the faith are all strengthened by storytelling. The book's social analysis is fairly strong, but, as the final pages indicate, more needs to be done in considering precisely what is being handed down: hatred and violence are part of all three religious traditions. This book highlights success stories; there should be more investigation of the distortion of these traditions and the failure to pass them on. An important though inconclusive study, it is especially recommended for seminary libraries but also for public and academic collections.
—Carolyn M. Craft
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823226481
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/2007
  • Series: Abrahamic Dialogues Series, #5
  • Edition description: 4
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 334
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

James L. Heft, S.M., is President and Founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies and University Professor of Faith and Culture and Chancellor, University of Dayton. He edited Believing Scholars: Ten Catholic Intellectuals and Beyond Violence: Religious Sources for Social Transformation in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam for Fordham.

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Table of Contents

Preface   James L. Heft, S. M.     ix
Introduction: Youth and the Continuity of Religious Traditions   James L. Heft, S. M.     1
National and International Overviews
Looking for God: Religious Indifference in Perspective   Melchor Sanchez de Toca     23
Journeys of Faith: Meeting the Challenges in Twenty-First-Century America   Nancy Ammerman     37
Three Recent National Studies
Is Moralistic Therapeutic Deism the New Religion of American Youth? Implications for the Challenge of Religious Socialization and Reproduction   Christian Smith     55
The "Interior" Lives of American College Students: Preliminary Findings from a National Study   Jennifer A. Lindholm     75
Congregations That Get It: Understanding Religious Identities in the Next Generation   Tobin Belzer   Richard W. Flory   Nadia Roumani   Brie Loskota     103
Passing on the Faith to the Next Generation of Jews
BJ: A Portrait of a Revitalized Synagogue   Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon     125
Current Expressions of American Jewish Identity: An Analysis of 114 Teenagers   Philip Schwadel     135
Passing on the Faith to the Next Generation of Christians
A Spiritual Crossroads of Europe: The Taize Community's Adventure with the Young   Brother John of Taize     147
Religious Identity and Belonging Amidst Diversity and Pluralism: Challenges and Opportunities for Church and Theology   Peter C. Phan     162
Passing on the Faith to the Next Generation of Muslims
Identity and Community in a New Generation: The Muslim Community in the Early Seventh Century and Today   Ghada Osman     187
Making Safe Space for Questioning for Young American Muslims   Amira Quraishi     204
Second-Generation Muslim Immigrants in Detroit Mosques: The Second Generation's Search for Their Place and Identity in the American Mosque   Ihsan Bagby     218
Two Evaluations of the Research
The Leisure of Worship and the Worship of Leisure   Jack Miles     247
Teach Your Children Well: Closing Observations on Constructing Religious Identity in the Next Generation   Diane Winston     264
Notes     275
Contributors     295
Index     301
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