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Families and FaithHow Religion is Passed Down across Generations$
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Vern L. Bengtson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199948659

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199948659.001.0001

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What We Have Learned and How It Might Be Useful

(p.184) Chapter 10 Conclusion
Families and Faith

Vern L. Bengtson

Norella M. Putney

Susan C. Harris

Oxford University Press

The thirty-five-year study of families and faith reported in this book has shown that there is something persistent about religiosity that seems to “stick around” families over generations. This reflects “intergenerational religious momentum,” which is highly valued by devout parents and by religious communities. But how can such momentum be established and maintained? While churches, pastors, priests, and rabbis have a strong investment in maintaining intergenerational religious momentum, the programs in most churches are not geared toward helping families to do this. A theory is presented of the factors that influence the religious development of young adults—specifically, what enhances or hinders intergenerational religious momentum—and a list of suggestions presented for families, pastors, priests, rabbis, and all those who wish to encourage the younger generation to follow them in faith.

Keywords:   generations, families, intergenerational, intergenerational religious momentum

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