Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Passing on the FaithTransforming Traditions for the Next Generation of Jews, Christians, and
            Muslims$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

James L. Heft

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226474

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226474.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use (for details see http://www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 21 November 2017

Is Moralistic Therapeutic Deism the New Religion of American Youth? Implications for the Challenge of Religious Socialization and Reproduction

Is Moralistic Therapeutic Deism the New Religion of American Youth? Implications for the Challenge of Religious Socialization and Reproduction

Chapter:
(p.55) Is Moralistic Therapeutic Deism the New Religion of American Youth? Implications for the Challenge of Religious Socialization and Reproduction
Source:
Passing on the Faith
Author(s):

Christian Smith

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823226474.003.0004

For the last four years, through the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR), the author has been intensely researching the religious and spiritual lives of teenagers in the United States. This chapter explores some NSYR findings about the religious and spiritual lives of U.S. teenagers that have implications for the challenge of religiously socializing youth and shed light on the question of internal secularization. The guiding question is this: What are the prospects of success for established religious communities in contemporary U.S. culture seeking to induct their youth into the beliefs, commitments, and practices of their historical faith traditions in ways that will both form the lives of their youth as individuals and carry on with significant continuity those collective faith traditions into the future? The chapter begins by exploring some of the social and cultural difficulties and challenges that faith communities face in this task. It then describes one of the major results of faith communities’ general failure to successfully meet those difficulties and challenges: a pervasive, functional, religious belief system among teenagers called Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. It concludes by suggesting ways that, from a sociologist's point of view, faith communities might respond to this popular “alternative” de facto religious faith and better form and educate their young people.

Keywords:   religious life, spiritual life, American teenagers, youth, religious faith, internal secularization, National Study of Youth and Religion

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .