Why Baby Boomers Turned from Religion
audiobook (Unabridged) ∣ Shaping Belief and Belonging, 1945-2021
By Abby Day
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Mocked, vilified, blamed, and significantly misunderstood-the "Baby Boomers" are members of the generation of post-WWII babies who came of age in the 1960s. Parents of the 1940s and 1950s raised their Boomer children to be respectable church-attendees, and yet in some ways demonstrated an ambivalence that permitted their children to spurn religion and eventually to raise their own children to be the least religious generation ever. The Baby Boomers studied here, living in the UK and Canada, were the last generation to have been routinely baptized and taken regularly to mainstream, Anglican churches. So, what went wrong-or, perhaps, right? This study, based on in-depth interviews, is the first to offer a sociological account of the sudden transition from religious parents to non-religious children and grandchildren, focusing exclusively on this generation of ex-Anglican Boomers. The Boomers featured here make sense of their lives and the world they helped create. They discuss how they continue to disbelieve in God yet have an easy relationship with ghosts, and how they did not, as theologians often claim, fall into an immoral self-centered abyss. They also reveal here the values, practices, and beliefs they transmitted to the future generations, helping shape the nonreligious identities of Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z.