Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults In, Out of, and Gone from the Church  -     By: Christian Smith, Kyle Longest, Jonathan Hill
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Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults In, Out of, and Gone from the Church

Oxford University Press / 2014 / Hardcover

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Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.13 (inches)
ISBN: 0199341079
ISBN-13: 9780199341078
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Best Review at the Catholic Press Association Convention

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 18 to 23--a demographic commonly known as early "emerging adulthood"--leading 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.

Author Bio


Christian Smith is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society, Director of the Notre Dame Center for Social Research, Principal Investigator of the National Study of Youth and Religion, and Principal Investigator of the Science of Generosity Initiative. He is the author, co-author, or editor of numerous books, including Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Emerging Adults, Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood, and Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers.

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.

Editorial Reviews


"[An] engaging book...there is a lot of interesting material in this study. The book will animate discussion among students, scholars, and others interested in Catholicism, religion more generally, American culture, and the life course, as well as among Catholic church planners and educators."--American Journal of Sociology


"[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


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