Skip to comments.Surveys: Young Adults Search Spiritually
Posted on 04/13/2005 9:23:01 AM PDT by kiriath_jearim
Surveys: Young Adults Search Spiritually
By JUSTIN POPE AP Education Writer
April 13, 2005, 11:42 AM EDT
They are often tarnished with labels like "self-absorbed" and "materialistic." But young adults are actively engaged with spiritual questions, two new surveys suggest, even if they are not necessarily exploring them through traditional religious practice.
One of the surveys, of more than 100,000 freshmen who started college last fall, found four in five reporting an interest in spirituality, with three in four searching for meaning or purpose in life, and the same fraction discussing the meaning of life with friends. The incoming freshmen also reported high expectations that their colleges would help them develop spiritually.
"The first surprise for all of us is we didn't expect the students to be in that much of a spiritual quest," said Helen Astin, professor emeritus of higher education and a senior scholar UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute, which produced the survey, to be released Wednesday. "We had focused on the materialism of students, the 'me' generation, only focusing on their jobs and the future."
Previous, smaller studies by HERI have found students' participation in formal religion fell during their college years. UCLA plans to check back in with its broader group of freshmen in a few years to see if that pattern holds, and on other questions concerning spirituality.
A separate survey of 1,325 18-25 year-olds released earlier this week by Reboot, a Jewish networking group, and several collaborating organizations, emphasizes the degree to which young people are confronting religious issues informally, through conversations and even Christian rock music rather than formal religious practice.
While 44 percent of respondents called themselves "religious," 35 percent said they are "spiritual but not religious" and 18 percent said neither.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsday.com ...
religious issues informally, through conversations and even Christian rock music rather than formal religious practice.
Translation: Young people seek a spirituality the celebrates their self-absorption and materialism.
Golly. This generation is like every other generation. Big surprise. We want the truth.
You should get on your hands and knees and be thankful for materialism (capitalism - the book "Wealth of Nations") and the technology, sciences and freedoms it has brought us. Without it, we would still be in the dark ages where there was not even running water and you could die from an infection caused be a simple cut.
Thanks, but instead, I'll get on my hands and knees and be thankful for the Protestant Work Ethic: the idea that honest labor, invention, thrift and industry glorifies God.
Heh. I didn't think too much about "spirituality" until I hit the spiritual vacuum that was my alma mater. But I had high expectations that my college would help me develop intellectually. I bet many will be just as disappointed as I was. Unfortunatley, there will be lots of people who should be disappointed, but don't realize it.
I suppose one could call me religious, but not spiritual. I'm more the mystic type who has ascetic envy.