Religion and Youth

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  • Edited by Sylvia Collins-Mayo, Kingston University, UK and Pink Dandelion, Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre and University of Birmingham, UK
  • Series : Theology and Religion in Interdisciplinary Perspective Series in Association with the BSA Sociology of Religion Study Group
  • What is the future of religion given the responses of young people?
    What impact do existing religious forms have on youth?
    What kind of spirituality and religion are young people creating for themselves?

    Religion and Youth presents an accessible guide to the key issues in the study of youth and religion, including methodological perspectives. It provides a key teaching text in these areas for undergraduates, and a book of rigorous scholarship for postgraduates, academics and practitioners.

    Offering the first comprehensive international perspective on the sociology of youth and religion, this book reveals key geographical and organisational variables as well as the complexities of the engagement between youth and religion. The book is divided into six parts organised around central themes: Generation X and their legacy; The Big Picture – surveys of belief and practice in the USA, UK and Australia; Expression – how young people construct and live out their religion and spirituality; Identity – the role of religion in shaping young people's sense of self and social belonging; Transmission – passing on the faith (or not); Researching Youth Religion – debates, issues and techniques in researching young people's religion and spirituality. James A. Beckford writes the Foreword and Linda Woodhead the Epilogue.

  • Contents: Foreword; Introduction, Sylvia Collins-Mayo; Part I Generations and Their Legacy: The expressive communalism of post-boomer religion in the USA, Richard Flory and Donald E. Miller; Religion, pop culture and 'virtual faith', Sylvia Collins-Mayo and Tom Beaudoin; Explaining change over time in religious involvement, David Voas; 'Generation X' religion: a critical evaluation, Gordon Lynch. Part II The Big Picture: Surveys of Belief and Practice: On 'moralistic therapeutic deism' as US teenagers' actual, tacit, de facto, religious faith, Christian Smith; The teenage religion and values survey in England and Wales, Mandy Robbins and Leslie Francis; The spirituality of young Australians, Michael Mason. Part III Expression: What spirituality means to young adults, David Tacey; Shamanic practices and social capital among native youths in the Brazilian Amazon, Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen; Teenage witchcraft in Britain, Denise Cush; Exploring symbolic, emotional and spiritual expression amongst 'crasher clubbers', Karenza Moore; 'Believing in belonging': an exploration of young people's social contexts and constructions of belief, Abby Day; The role of religion in the sexual lives of teens, Elizabeth Cooksey and Tessa Dooms. Part IV Identity: Islamic revival and young women's negotiations on gender and racism, Pia Karlsson Minganti; Engaging with teenage girls' understandings of religion and gender, Jeannine Heynes; British Sikh youth: identity, hair and the turban, Contents: Foreword; Introduction, Sylvia Collins-Mayo; Part I Generations and Their Legacy: The expressive communalism of post-boomer religion in the USA, Richard Flory and Donald E. Miller; Religion, pop culture and 'virtual faith', Sylvia Collins-Mayo and Tom Beaudoin; Explaining change over time in religious involvement, David Voas; 'Generation X' religion: a critical evaluation, Gordon Lynch. Part II The Big Picture: Surveys of Belief and Practice: On 'moralistic therapeutic deism' as US teenagers' actual, tacit, de facto, religious faith, Christian Smith; The teenage religion and values survey in England and Wales, Mandy Robbins and Leslie Francis; The spirituality of young Australians, Michael Mason. Part III Expression: What spirituality means to young adults, David Tacey; Shamanic practices and social capital among native youths in the Brazilian Amazon, Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen; Teenage witchcraft in Britain, Denise Cush; Exploring symbolic, emotional and spiritual expression amongst 'crasher clubbers', Karenza Moore; 'Believing in belonging': an exploration of young people's social contexts and constructions of belief, Abby Day; The role of religion in the sexual lives of teens, Elizabeth Cooksey and Tessa Dooms. Part IV Identity: Islamic revival and young women's negotiations on gender and racism, Pia Karlsson Minganti; Engaging with teenage girls' understandings of religion and gender, Jeannine Heynes; British Sikh youth: identity, hair and the turban, Jasjit Singh; 'A place to grow spiritually and socially': the experiences of young pilgrims to Lourdes, Alana Harris; Religious socialisation and a reflexive habitus: Christian youth groups as sites for identity work, Nicholas M. Shepherd. Part V Transmission: The role of families and religious institutions in transmitting faith among Christians, Muslims, and Hindus in the USA, R. Stephen Warner and Rhys H. Williams; Growing up in a mixed-faith family: intact or fractured chain of memory?, Elisabeth Arweck and Eleanor Nesbitt; Socialisation and spiritual capital: what difference do clergy families make?, Mathew Guest; Protestant confirmation in European perspective, Leise Christensen, Duncan Dormor, Ida Marie Høeg, Wolfgang Ilg and Kati Niemelä. Part VI Researching Youth Religion: A question of belief, Sylvia Collins-Mayo and Phil Rankin; Quantitative methods, David Voas; Visual methods, Sarah Dunlop and Philip Richter; Gender matters: doing feminist research on religion and youth, Kristin Aune and Giselle Vi

  • About the Editor: Sylvia Collins-Mayo is one of the leading British researchers in religion and youth, she is Principal Lecturer in Sociology at Kingston University. She has contributed to numerous books and journals including 'Young People's Spirituality and the Meaning of Prayer', Religion and the Individual, Abby Day (ed.) (Ashgate, 2008), 'Raising Christian Consciousness: Creating Place', Journal of Youth and Theology (2007), and Making Sense of Generation Y, Sara Savage, Sylvia Collins-Mayo and Bob Mayo with Graham Cray (2006). She has also co-organised, with Pink Dandelion, the BSA Sociology of Religion Study Group's Annual Conference (2008) which was based on the theme of Religion and Youth.

    Pink Dandelion is Professor of Quaker Studies at the University of Birmingham and directs the work of the Centre for Postgraduate Quaker Studies, Woodbrooke and the University of Birmingham. He edits Quaker Studies and acts as Series Editor for the Edwin Mellen series in Quaker Studies. His books include The Quakers: a very short introduction (2008) (with Jackie Leach Scully), Good and Evil: Quaker perspectives (2007), Introduction to Quakerism (2007), The Liturgies of Quakerism (2005), The Creation of Quaker Theory (2004), the co-authored Towards Tragedy/Reclaiming Hope (2004) and The Sociological Analysis of the Theology of Quakers: the silent revolution (1996).

  • Reviews: 'For a variety of reasons we need to know more about the religious lives of young people. This book tells us why, in addition to supplying - in abundance - facts, figures, examples and explanations about a complex but fascinating subject. I recommend it very warmly.'
    Grace Davie, University of Exeter, UK

    ‘This volume is the first comprehensive international perspective - rooted in the sociology of religion - to explore the complexities of religion and youth, and take account of geographical and organisational contexts. … The Church needs continually to find a wisdom that discerns the many ways of engaging with youth culture and generational change, ways that are wise, and are practised both generously and courageously. In this remarkable book, the editors highlight the changes and challenges posed by contemporary youth culture.’ Church Times

    'Editors Sylvia Collins-Mayo and Pink Dandelion have collected diverse and stimulating contributions on topics ranging from British trance clubbing to European Protestant confirmation students and teenage witchcraft.' Religion Watch

    '... this edited book offers a plethora of perspectives on the state of play at the interface of sociology, religion and young people. ... it is a book to be commended, especially for the generally intelligent non-specialist reader, and for students looking for a balanced gateway into sociological reflections on religion and young people.' Youth & Policy

    'The eye-catching cover doesn't disappoint when you start to read this book. It is a collection of high-quality chapters written by significant scholars in the field and is published in association with the British Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Study Group. ... The book raises questions and issues that need further thought, research and debate. This is perhaps the most valuable aspect of the collection. Some of the highlights in this respect are: identifying some of the positive influences of religion on young people; young people's feelings of belonging, community and spiritual experience in a club culture; how young people 'believe in belonging', search for authenticity and want to see morality located within social influences and norms rather than imposed by a religion; the absence of women in formal study of religion in textbooks and teaching; insights into the lives and beliefs of young people of other faiths; faith and identity formation; and the importance of intergenerational experience and of offering young people significant leadership opportunities.' Modern Believing

    '... this is an excellent volume with much to offer those who study youth and/or religion at a variety of levels. The balance of original research, commentary, and methodological insight provides an excellent introduction to those needing a primer in the field (primarily advanced undergraduate and graduate students). The volume in total, especially with the introduction and conclusion, will be food for thought for more experience researchers in this area with calls to consider where we have come and where we should go with theory and further empirical investigation.' Journal of Contemporary Religion

    'As religion increases its visibility in wider society, an engaged sociological response is required. Often sociology has marginalized religion, but groups like Socrel can go some way in addressing the public benefit question, publicising to a diverse range of audiences the importance of religion in social life, and highlighting the sociological work that is being conducted in this field.' Network

    ‘… [A] valuable addition to the study of religion in contemporary society.’ Fieldwork in Religion

  • Extracts from this title are available to view:

    Full contents list

    Introduction

    Index


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