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A Generation Of Mashup Religion

We are now seeing the Mashup Generation emerge into adulthood, using technology to combine sources of information with a fluidity that would have been difficult to anticipate just two decades ago. The practice of mashup doesn’t respect traditional boundaries between media, or boundaries between ideas.

Given this, it isn’t surprising that young adults today are the most secular in all of American history. It isn’t that they aren’t in search of deep meaning. It’s just that traditional ways of seeking meaning seem shallow and linear to them. According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, one out of every five Americans under the age of 30 now self-identifies as unaffiliated with any religion.

The old churches and temples seem increasingly less relevant to a generation that is used to playing with information and insights from around the globe, and no, giving a religious congregation a Facebook page won’t be enough to bring young Americans back. The situation seems ripe for the development of new channels for deeper thought.

What forms might new deep thought take? What will people call them?

For the sake of easy language, is it appropriate to call these new forms “religion”?

If so, what could these new manifestations of mashup religion look like? The old fight is between theism and atheism, but could new religions simply sidestep this question, developing godless religions?

What boundaries need to be broken? What concepts need to be combined?

4 comments to A Generation Of Mashup Religion

  • manning120

    Are you including Islam in this discussion? The impression one gains from media reports is that Muslims are very rigid in their religious thinking, compared to believers in other religions.

  • I am including all americans.

    Which muslims are you talking about? Sufis?

  • Institutional religion, out, personal spirituality, in. There is no agreement on what spirituality is or ought to be, and belief in God is optional.

    Institutional religion is essentialist and structural, whereas spirituality is existentialist and functional.

    If there is a single value that is most commonly agreed upon as representative of spirituality, I would say it is love.

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