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

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


By (author) Kari Christoffersen, By (author) Kyle Longest, By (author) Christian Smith, By (author) Jonathan Hill

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 238mm x 30mm | 620g
  • Publication date: 27 March 2014
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0199341079
  • ISBN 13: 9780199341078
  • Illustrations note: charts
  • Sales rank: 147,869

Product description

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.

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Author information

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.

Review quote

"[A] major work on an important subject" - Publishers Weekly"Pastoral leaders cannot effectively navigate in our ministry if we don't understand the territory-and the Catholic territory is increasingly complex! Young Catholic America provides an in-depth analysis of emerging adults in, out of, and gone from the Church, building on the research from the National Study of Youth and Religion. Describing the incredible diversity within American Catholicism, acknowledging the challenge of even defining 'Catholic, ' and identifying critical impacts on faith, this is an invaluable resource for pastoral ministers." --Robert J. McCarty, D.Min., Executive Director, National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry"Young Catholic America is the definitive statement of Catholicism's challenges. Parents, schools, and parishes are as crucial as ever, but each is weaker than it was fifty years ago. Unable to go back to the way it was or forward the way it is, the Church stands at a crossroads." --Michael Hout, Professor of Sociology, New York University "Christian Smith and co-authors Kyle Longest, Jonathan Hill, and Kari Christoffersen have carried out the most in-depth study yet of emerging young Catholic adults. An important and highly relevant book." --William V. D'Antonio, Senior Fellow, Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, Catholic University

Table of contents

Acknowledgments ; Introduction ; 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? ; Conclusion ; Appendix ; Notes ; Index