The faith of teenagers is a picture of contrasts. Teenagers are consistently among the most religiously active Americans, with nearly six out of every 10 teens engaged in some type of group spiritual activity in a typical week. Yet, the spirituality of teenagers is also remarkably diverse and fluid. A new research study from the Barna Group explores the changing religious environment of teenagers, comparing their participation in personal and group forms of faith over the past dozen years.
Religion Among the Millennials
Teens and Religion : NPR
The majority of American teens believe in God and worship in conventional congregations, but their religious knowledge is remarkably shallow, and they have a tough time expressing the difference that faith makes in their lives, a new survey says. The research found that devout teens hold more traditional sexual and other values than their nonreligious counterparts and are better off in emotional health, academic success, community involvement, concern for others, trust of adults and avoidance of risky behavior. The four-year effort was conducted by 133 researchers and consultants led by sociologist Christian Smith of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The book will be published next week. It speaks more broadly about the direction of American religion. With ongoing funding from the Lilly Endowment, researchers will continue to track the same teens through 2007.
How Teenagers’ Faith Practices are Changing
As I reflect on the Easter holiday, I find myself thinking about teenagers and religion. Frequently, teens question religion, bash it, or experiment with new ones. Sometimes, when they express their thoughts and feelings about religion, parents and other adults can be taken aback. What I usually find is that questioning religion is part of their identity formation process and a normal emotional distancing from their parents. Experimenting with religions can also be a personal test.
By Michael Cromartie. One of the most influential and widely cited sociologists of his generation, he is the author of many provocative books, including American Evangelicalism: Embattled and Thriving Univ. Press , coauthored with Michael O.