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Finding Faith

The Spiritual Quest of the Post-Boomer Generation

Richard Flory and Donald E. Miller

Publication Year: 2008

Despite the masses still lining up to enter mega-churches with warehouse-like architecture, casually dressed clergy, and pop Christian music, the "Post-Boomer" generation-those ranging in age from twenty to forty-is having second thoughts. In this perceptive look at the evolving face of Christianity in contemporary culture, sociologists Richard Flory and Donald E. Miller argue that we are on the verge of another potential revolution in how Christians worship and associate with one another. Just as the formative experiences of Baby Boomers were colored by such things as the war in Vietnam, the 1960s, and a dramatic increase in their opportunities for individual expression, so Post-Boomers have grown up in less structured households with working (often divorced) parents. These childhood experiences leave them craving authentic spiritual experience, rather than entertainment, and also cause them to question institutions. Flory and Miller develop a typology that captures four current approaches to the Christian faith and argue that this generation represents a new religious orientation of "expressive communalism," in which they seek spiritual experience and fulfillment in community and through various expressive forms of spirituality, both private and public.

Published by: Rutgers University Press


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pp. v

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pp. vii-xi

This book began life several years ago in a conversation we had about a potential follow-up project to our GenX Religion book, based on our observations of many young Christians we knew who were giving up on the relatively sterile, rationalist Protestant worship they were experiencing in their churches. In this, we saw them making what to us was a fairly radical switch...

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Chapter 1: Introduction

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pp. 1-18

Religion, it seems, is everywhere in the news. Whether abroad in various war zones like Afghanistan or Iraq or in persistent crisis situations such as between the Israelis and Palestinians, religion plays a central organizing role in the events taking place there. At home, religion plays a role in seemingly everything from presidential elections to immigration (we’re...

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Chapter 2: Innovators

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pp. 19-51

When entering the worship service at the Bridge Communities, one is struck by all the activity that is going on simultaneously, yet all organized around worship and building community. There are digitally produced images projected on multiple walls of the space that are both visually engaging and helping to provide a visual narrative to what is...

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Chapter 3: Appropriators

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pp. 52-83

As we drove up to Anaheim Stadium—where Major League Baseball’s Angels play—we were wondering what this particular evening would look and feel like. We were on our way to the annual Harvest Crusade, held for three nights each summer since 1990 at the home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.1 The Harvest Crusade is modeled after such large-scale...

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Chapter 4: Resisters

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pp. 84-123

When we heard about the conference that placed two of our types in direct contact with each other, we thought it was too good to be true. We would be able to see how representatives of our Innovators and our Resisters interacted with each other, in particular how they framed what they each saw as the important issues currently facing the church. This was a one-day conference...

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Chapter 5: Reclaimers

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pp. 124-156

We arrived at the Orthodox church1 at about nine forty-five in the morning for the ten o’clock service. Although we were only a few minutes early, hardly anyone was outside on the church grounds, and only a few cars were in the parking lot. Our plan was to attend the morning worship service, and then to meet up with several young adult converts to Orthodoxy whom we had previously...

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Chapter 6: Conclusion

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pp. 157-193

In the emerging social scientific literature on spirituality, analysts have largely framed “spirituality” as a counterpart to “religion,” with the spiritual referring to the inner life, and the individualistic search for meaning, whether this is from within a particular religious tradition or traditions or from a religiously unaffiliated “spiritual but not religious” approach...


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pp. 195-201


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pp. 203-211


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pp. 213-228

About the Authors

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pp. 229-230

E-ISBN-13: 9780813544267
E-ISBN-10: 0813544262
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813542720
Print-ISBN-10: 0813542723

Page Count: 248
Illustrations: 11 figures
Publication Year: 2008