Complex, critical and caring: young people’s diverse religious, spiritual and non-religious worldviews in Australia and Canada
journal contributionposted on 01.04.2020, 00:00 authored by Anna HalafoffAnna Halafoff, H Shipley, P D Young, Andrew SingletonAndrew Singleton, M L Rasmussen, G Bouma
Recent scholarly and media perspectives on religion and youth have often depicted young people as being apathetic when it comes to religion. The methods used in research on religion are also typically informed by outdated, fixed idea of religious identity that are no longer applicable, especially to young people. This paper confronts these issues by applying contemporary theories of religious diversity, including lived religion and religious complexity, to the findings of the Canadian Religion, Gender and Sexuality among Youth in Canada (RGSY) study, the Australian Interaction multifaith youth movement project, and the Worldviews of Australian Generation Z (AGZ) study. These three studies revealed that young people negotiate their worldview identities in complex, critical and caring ways that are far from ambivalent, and that are characterised by hybridity and questioning. We thereby recommend that policies and curricula pertaining to young people’s and societies’ wellbeing better reflect young people’s actual lived experiences of diversity.