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Families and Faith: How Religion Is Passed Down Across Generations


Families and Faith: How Religion Is Passed Down Across Generations Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Few things are more likely to cause heartache to devout parents than seeing their child leave the faith. And it seems, from media portrayals, that this is happening more and more frequently. But is religious change between generations common? How does religion get passed down from one generation to the next? Why do some families maintain one faith while others do not? What factors are likely to push people away from their childhood faith? What role does the particular faith play? The family? The wider society? Does atheism get passed down as well? In Families and Faith, Vern Bengtson seeks to answer these questions and more by drawing on an extraordinary study, conducted over more than four decades, of more than 350 families composed of more than 2400 people whose lives span more than a century: the oldest was born in 1881, the youngest in 1988. Bengtson argues that a child is actually more likely to remain within the fold than to leave it, and, more surprisingly, that parents' influence has remained relatively stable since the early 1970s. Even the nonreligious, in fact, are much more likely to be following their parents than rebelling against them. And while outside social forces play a role, the most important factor in whether a child keeps the faith is the presence of a strong fatherly bond. Armed with this unprecedented data, Bengtson offers remarkable insight into American religion over the course of several decades.

About the Author

VLB: AARP/University Chair in Gerontology and Professor of Sociology, University of Southern California; NMP: Project Director, Transmission of Religion Across Generations project, University of Southern California; SH: Research Adjunct Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Southern California

Table of Contents


Part 1: The Emerging Religious Landscape

1. Families and the Transmission of Religion

2. Trends in Spirituality and Religion Across Seven Generations

3. Intergenerational Transmission of Religion, 1970 and 2005

Part 2: Family Ties and Religious Transmission

4. The Quality of Parent-Child Relationships

5. Grandparents and Great-Grandparents

6. Marriage and Divorce

Part 3: Factors in Leaving and Staying

7. Religious Rebels, Zealots, and Prodigals

8. The Nones: Intergenerational Transmission of Nonreligion

9. Tight-Knit Religious Communities: Mormons, Jews, and Evangelicals

10. Summing it Up: Families and Faith across Generations





Product Details

Bengtson, Vern L.
Oxford University Press, USA
Harris, Susan
Putney, Norella M.
Religion & Theology | Sociology of Religion
Psychology : General
Publication Date:
6.4 x 9.4 x 1 in 1.2 lb

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Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
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Families and Faith: How Religion Is Passed Down Across Generations New Hardcover
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Product details 288 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199948659 Reviews:
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