Many congregations lament the loss of those between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three in their congregations. Sociologist of Religion Christian Smith and Professor Patricia Snell engaged in five years of research that followed teenagers into young adulthood or as they say emerging adults (EAs). Their seminal work explores and explains EAs, the cultural impacts on them, and their resultant perspectives on spirituality, religion, and congregational life. A variety of issues and questions are discussed, including social media, alcohol, depression, college, drugs, dating, and death. A variety of religious groups, such as Protestants, Evangelical Protestants, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam, are all part of the conversation. There is ample information in this accessible and well-researched book to help congregations from a variety of traditions understand and minister to this segment of EAs. The book also includes charts and graphs, and offers extensive notes, resources, and a detailed index.
Reviewed by Janet Hoover