Spirituality, Religion, and the Millennial Generation of Nones

Using the work of Martin Marty and Will Herberg, Merle Longwood explores how religious practice has changed in the United States over the centuries, putting our current situation in its historical and sociological context. He then complexifies common notions about nones by demonstrating how there are many different kinds of people who are “spiritual, but not religious.” In 21st century America, people are more oriented toward continual seeking for the divine. Longwood argues that to engage this new generation, churches could provide a space for spiritual seekers to explore, rather than trying to provide all the answers.

Millennials: Getting Beyond Selfies, @, and #

Adam Pryor identifies three prominent characteristics of millennials. They have a much closer relationship with technology than previous generations, they have an optimistic belief about their ability to create positive change in the world, but they are also often disillusioned with organized religion. Engaging with the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Charles Taylor, Pryor explores how we can address millennials’ disillusionment by connecting with them through their passion for technology and justice work. ​

Editor’s Introduction: Millennials and Nones

In this issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics, three writers explore the Millennial generation (also known as Generation Y) and the “None” factor. “None” stands for “no religion” and points to the disinclination of young people to affiliate with or belong to a formal religious community. As the parent of two Millennials, I found […]

Editor’s Introduction: Hope and Anxiety

How does the reality of hope address the deepest anxieties of human beings? This issue explores this question from a variety of perspectives. It seeks to illuminate the intergenerational and gender contours of anxiety as well as its intra-generational manifestations among Baby Boomers and Millennials. It also reflects on this question drawing upon rich biblical […]

Let Me Google That: A Millennial Reflects on Her Generation

Scripture calls us to aid the poor. Why should that be limited to only the private sphere? Lanoue explores the secular and religious arguments regarding tax reform and how it can help those who truly need it.

A Millennial’s Perspective on Millennials

Cain, a millennial in seminary, writes about how news coverage of millennials seems to be entirely negative. However, Cain challenges non-millennials to examine why millennials might be jumping ship and eschewing things like mortgages and church membership. The amount of young people who say they believe in God has not dropped significantly when compared to other generations, but rather their participation in organized religion has decreased significantly. Cain notes we our focus should be spreading the gospel, not creating gimmicks to increase young adult numbers. We don’t need the “next big thing,” the gospel is the Big Thing. Sharing the gospel with sincerity is the way to connect with young people, as it has been for centuries.