So, what are the implications of that long listing from Wednesday for religion for emerging adults? Here is what Smith and Snell discovered in their fantastic new book: Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults
They explore what they call “causal mechanisms”: cultural codes that are impacting religious faith of emerging adults.
How would you rank the following from most significant to least? Which is at the top in your view? Which is the most significant influence on minimizing faith?
First, disruptions in life negatively impact religious commitment.
Second, distractions in life negatively impact religious practices.
Third, personal and psychological differentiation (separation from parents) negatively impact religious commitments.
Fourth, postponed family formation and childrearing retard religious commitment.
Fifth, keeping one’s options open creates obstacles to making religious commitments.
Sixth, the code of honoring diversity hampers religious commitment.
Seventh, the self-confidence and self-sufficiency, which are vital codes for emerging adults, negatively impacts religious commitments.
More after the jump…
Eighth, self-evident morality prevents the need for religious authorities encoding morals.
Ninth, partying, hooking up, having sex and cohabiting block connection to religious groups.
But, Smith and Snell see other trends…
First, religion is a resource for stability and recovery and
Second, ongoing relations with parents, at least those who are believers, can sustain a connection with faith.