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Back-Pocket God – Religion and Spirituality in the Lives of Emerging Adults - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Back-Pocket God: Religion and Spirituality in the Lives of Emerging Adults

Melinda Lundquist Denton, Richard Flory, and Christian Smith


What do the religious and spiritual lives of American young people look like as they reach their mid to late 20s, enter the full-time job market, and start families? In Back Pocket God, the authors provide a look beyond conflicting stories that argue that emerging adults either are overwhelmingly leaving religion or are earnest spiritual seekers maintaining a significant place in their lives for religion. Denton and Flory show that while the dominant trend among young people is a move away from religious beliefs and institutions, there is also a parallel trend in which a small, religiously com ... More

Keywords: NSYR, National Study of Youth and Religion, MTD, moralistic therapeutic deism, religious decline, religious nones, religious indifference, religious return

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190064785
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190064785.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Melinda Lundquist Denton, author
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Texas at San Antonio

Richard Flory, author
Senior Director of Research and Evaluation, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, University of Southern California

Christian Smith, author