Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers

By Christian Smith; Melinda Lundquist Denton | Go to book overview

Notes

1. One major 1995 Carnegie Council report on adolescents, Great Transitions: Preparing Adolescents for a New Century (New York: Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development), for instance, only sporadically alludes to religious organizations as one among many kinds of community institutions that may help youth. Otherwise, religion in this report is invisible. S. Shirley Feldman and Glenn Elliott's important 1990 overview of adolescent life, At the Threshold: The Developing Adolescent (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), mentions religious influences a mere three times in its 642 pages, one of which is a reference to life in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Similarly, in Jeylan Mortimer and Reed Larson's 2002 survey, The Changing Adolescent Experience: Societal Trends and the Transition to Adulthood (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press), the word “religion” is found on one page, and that in reference to a survey of adult uses of the Internet. One also searches in vain many special issues of professional journals on adolescence for any significant discussions of the role of religion in youth's lives. See, for example, “The Mass Media and Adolescent Health,” Journal of Adolescent Health 27 (2000); “Adolescents' Preparation for the Future: Perils and Promises,” Journal of Research on Adolescence 12 (2002). Also see Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, Turning Points: Preparing American Youth for the 21st Century (New York: Carnegie Corporation of New York, 1989). There does exist an extensive body of literature about teenage religion that is journalistic and impressionistic (for example, Tom Beaudoin, Virtual Faith: The Irreverent Spiritual Quest of Generation X (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998); Jon Sweeney, ed., God Within: Our Spiritual Future—As Told by Today's New Adults (Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths, 2001); Kristoffer Cox, GenX

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