Souls in Transition: Six Religious Types

Souls in Transition: Six Religious Types January 19, 2010

This is part of a series of posts in which I’m reflecting on Christian Smith and Patricia Snell’s new book, Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults.

Finally, I want to introduce the six major religious types that Smith found upon his study of emerging adult religiosity.  To each type, he estimates a percentage of the population of 18-23 year-olds and gives a quote that best describes their attitude toward religion:

  • Committed Traditionalists (15%) say, “I am really committed.”
  • Selective Adherents (30%) say, ” I do some of what I can.”
  • The Spiritually Open (15%) say, “There’s probably something more out there.”
  • The Religiously Indifferent (25%) say, “It just doesn’t matter much.”
  • The Religiously Disconnected (5%) say, “I really don’t know what you’re talking about.”
  • The Irreligious (10%) say, “Religion just makes no sense.”

So, there we have it, another massive study by Christian Smith that gives all sorts of insight into the spiritual lives, beliefs, and practices of emerging adults.  If you’ve been with me through the series of blog posts, let me ask you this: Knowing all of this, how should we change Christianity in America, and especially youth ministry?

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