The State of Religion & Young People 2023: Exploring the Sacred

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Learn how young people experience the sacred and how it impacts their lives, both online and offline. Our research shows that young people experience sacred moments. And that these moments make life more meaningful.

This report will help you create opportunities to see the sacred for young people:

  • Discover the concept of Sacred Sensibility—the capacity for young people to see, appreciate, and respond to the sacred.
  • Enrich young people’s spiritual journeys and help set the stage for greater personal and spiritual growth, and connection.
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Full Description
Young people have made it overwhelmingly clear: finding the sacred in the everyday is integral to their well-being. And they want your help in their search.

The State of Religion & Young People 2023: Exploring the Sacred investigates how young people experience the sacred and how it impacts their lives. This year’s report uncovers how young people encounter the sacred beyond traditional spaces, experiencing moments that evoke a sense of wonder, awe, and connection—both in person and online.

Young people see the sacred: 55% of young people, regardless of religious affiliation, report having experienced a sacred moment.   And sacred moments make life more meaningful: young people said it helped them feel connected to something real (87%) or feel they were in the presence of something larger than themselves (81%).

This report offers trusted adults new ways to help cultivate experiences of the sacred for young people:

  • Discover the concept of Sacred Sensibility—the capacity for young people to see, appreciate, and respond to the sacred—which will give leaders a new vantage point from which to design experiences, have conversations, and cultivate relationships.
  • Enrich young people’s spiritual journeys and help set the stage for greater personal and spiritual growth, and for connectedness with each other.

As young people search for ways to make sense of an increasingly complex world, you can walk alongside them. The State of Religion & Young People 2023: Exploring the Sacred is your guide as you join them on this journey.

Product Details
Author:Springtide Research Institute
Item Number:5945
ISBN:978-1-64121-224-3
Format:Print
Weight:.1 lbs
Dimensions:9 in; .1 in; 7.2 in
Pages:72

Dr. Sarah Farmer
The questions explored about young people’s understanding of the sacred is quite insightful. To know that social media is a means for young people to experience the sacred requires me to re-envision media’s usefulness in my own work with young people. As a believer, the statistic that says “two-thirds of young people say that their belief in a higher power overrides any doubt or that they do not doubt at all” makes me sigh in relief. This probably shouldn’t be the case, but it is. While some of the statistics create a sense of urgency in me, others help me put my own anxiety about the faith of young people to rest. Further, the report encourages me to rest in the way the sacred manifests in the mundane, when one is not even trying to invoke an experience with the sacred
John DeCostanza
DMin, Dominican University
Regardless of whether a young person claims a religious affiliation or tradition, the grammar of the sacred is still strongly present through their interior lives, relationships, and experiences. All these point to deeper meaning, purpose, and connection to others and the Earth. This is hopeful news. For if we can help young people cultivate a sacred sensibility, then we can effectively combat the epidemic of loneliness and isolation that plagues every aspect of our life together in the United States. <em>The State of Religion &Young People 2023: Exploring the Sacred</em> provides those of us who accompany young people with a blueprint for action. Offer our presence and our own stories of the sacred. Gather and create ritual with young people (not for them). Set the conditions for generative relationships and moments that point to those things just beyond our experience. Practice. Practice. Practice. After all, if we can effectively help young people cultivate Sacred Sensibility, then it will be inevitable that <em>we</em> will experience it within them and alongside them.
Serena Bian
Office of the Surgeon General
This fascinating report explores an often overlooked, yet essential aspect of spirituality amongst our young people -- their experiences of the sacred. The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light new ways of understanding how space, time, intensely than with our young people. Springtime's insights are timely, fresh, and essential to meeting young people where they are in their spiritual journeys.
Kenji Kuramitsu
Mental Health and Spiritual Care Professional, M.Div, LCSW, CGP
“…Essential reading for all those interested in attending to the role of the sacred in the lives of teenagers and young adults, particularly in a cultural landscape shaped by public catastrophe, private disconnection, and widespread technological access.”
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