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Beyond heaven? Young people and the afterlife

journal contribution
posted on 2012-01-01, 00:00 authored by Andrew SingletonAndrew Singleton
It is widely assumed that, given their age and life stage, teens and emerging adults do not spend much time thinking about their own mortality or the afterlife. However, national surveys of teens in the US, Great Britain, and Canada indicate that approximately half of all teens in these countries believe in life after death. Drawing on both national survey data and qualitative interview material, this article explores patterns and understandings of afterlife belief among Australian teens and emerging adults (13-29-year-olds). The analysis reveals that afterlife belief among Australian youth is idiosyncratic and self-directed, with few looking to an external authority for guidance in formulating belief. This is interpreted as further evidence of the increasingly eclectic approach young people take to spiritual matters.

History

Journal

Journal of contemporary religion

Volume

27

Pagination

453-468

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

1353-7903

eISSN

1469-9419

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2012, Taylor & Francis

Issue

3

Publisher

Taylor & Francis