Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults in, Out of, and Gone from the Church

ISBN : 9780199341078

Kari Christoffersen; Kyle Longest; Christian Smith; Jonathan Hill
336 Pages
164 x 241 mm
Pub date
Mar 2014
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Studies of young American Catholics over the last three decades suggest a growing crisis in the Catholic Church: compared to their elders, young Catholics are looking to the Church less as they form their identities, and fewer of them can even explain what it means to be Catholic and why that matters. Young Catholic America, the latest book based on the groundbreaking National Study of Youth and Religion, explores a crucial stage in the life of Catholics. Drawing on in-depth surveys and interviews of Catholics and ex-Catholics ages eighteen to twenty-threea demographic commonly known as early emerging adulthoodleading sociologist Christian Smith and his colleagues offer a wealth of insight into the wide variety of religious practices and beliefs among young Catholics today, the early influences and life-altering events that lead them to embrace the Church or abandon it, and how being Catholic affects them as they become full-fledged adults. Beyond its rich collection of statistical data, the book includes vivid case studies of individuals spanning a full decade, as well as insight into the twentieth-century events that helped to shape the Church and its members in America. An innovative contribution to what we know about religion in the United States and the evolving Catholic Church, Young Catholic America is the definitive source for anyone seeking to understand what it means to be young and Catholic in America today.


Chapter 1: Catholic Emerging Adults in Historical Context: 1945 to 1970
Chapter 2: Emerging Adults Catholics across Four Decades: 1970s to 2000s
Chapter 3: A Statistical Portrait of Catholic Emerging Adults Today
Chapter 4: Emerging Adult Catholics, Their Faith, and the Church in Their Own Words
Excursus: Who Actually IS a "Catholic?"
Chapter 5: Religious Trajectories from the Teenage Years into Emerging Adulthood
Chapter 6: Catholic Faith and Lifecourse Outcomes
Chapter 7: Does Catholic Schooling Make a Difference?

About the author: 

Christian Smith is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. Kyle Longest is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Furman University. Jonathan Hill is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Calvin College. Kari Christoffersen is a PhD candidate at the University of Notre Dame.

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