Handing Down the Faith
How Parents Pass Their Religion on to the Next Generation
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Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of Pages: 264
Width: 16.6 cm
Height: 24.2 cm
The most important influence shaping the religious and spiritual lives of children, youth, and teenagers is their parents. A myriad of studies show that the parents of American youth play the leading role in shaping the character of their religious and spiritual lives, even well after they leave home and often for the rest of their lives. We know a lot about the importance of parents in faith transmission. However we know much less about the actual beliefs, feelings, and activities of the parents themselves, what Christian Smith and Amy Adamczyk call the "intergenerational transmission of religious faith and practice." To address that gap, this book reports the findings of a new national study of religious parents in the United States. The findings and conclusions in Handing Down the Faith are based on 215 in-depth, personal interviews with religious parents from many traditions and different parts of the country, and sophisticated analyses of two nationally representative surveys of American parents about their religious parenting. Handing Down the Faith explores the background beliefs informing how and why religious parents seek to pass on religion to their children; examines how parenting styles interact with parent religiousness to shape effective religious transmission; shows how parents have been influenced by their experiences as children influenced by their own parents; reveals how religious parents view their congregations and what they most seek out in a local church, synagogue, temple, or mosque; explores the experiences and outlooks of immigrant parents including Latino Catholics, East Asian Buddhists, South Asian Muslims, and Indian Hindus. Smith and Adamczyk step back to consider how American religion has transformed over the last 100 years and to explain why parents today shoulder such a huge responsibility in transmitting religious faith and practice to their children. The book is rich in empirical evidence and unique in many of the topics it explores and explains, providing a variety of sometimes counterintuitive findings that will interest scholars of religion, social scientists interested in the family, parenting, and socialization; clergy and religious educators and leaders; and religious parents themselves.
This a very interesting book on religious socialisation, based on qualitative information and quantitative data from the US, and across a few religious groups that represent the religious landscape well in this country. Not only this triangulation made up of interviews and four national surveys, but also the qualitative sample made up of different types of American parents enable to identify major themes and differences among them. The main remark would be the issue of sampling, but, as in all studies, resources are scarce, so researchers use what is possible. * Jose Pereira Coutinho, Horizonte * Every time I have returned to this book, it rewarded me with a deeper level of insight and depth... A valuable addition to the field. * Clara Gerhadt, Christian Scholar's Review * Overall, this study gives helpful insight to both parents and clergy. In a culture where the fear of failing to raise children in religious faith is common among parents, pastors, and religious leaders, Handing Down the Faith provides sound research and insightful analysis to help those concerned to do this work. * W. Mart Thompson, Concordia Journal *