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Religions 2018, 9(3), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9030084

Emerging Adult Religiosity and Spirituality: Linking Beliefs, Values, and Ethical Decision-Making

1
Department of Sociology & Criminology and Center for Social Research, University of Arkansas, 218 Old Main Building, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
2
Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract

This paper challenges the “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) category as a methodological artifact caused by interacting two closed-ended survey items into binary combinations. Employing a theoretically rich approach, this study maps the multiple ways in which the religious and the spiritual combine for emerging adults. Results indicate that most emerging adults have a tacit sense of morality, displaying limited cognitive access to how moral reasoning relates to religious and spiritual orientations. This longitudinal study investigates efforts to raise moral awareness through: exposure to diverse religious and spiritual orientations, personal reflection, and collective discussion. Relative to control groups, emerging adults in this study display increases in moral awareness. We combine the results of these studies to formulate a theoretical framework for the ways in which beliefs, values, and ethical decision-making connect in expressing plural combinations of religiosity and spirituality. The implication is that direct attention to religiosity and spirituality — not avoidance of — appears to facilitate ethical decision-making. View Full-Text
Keywords: adolescents; youth; culture; morality; ethics; theory adolescents; youth; culture; morality; ethics; theory
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Herzog, P.S.; Beadle, D.A.T. Emerging Adult Religiosity and Spirituality: Linking Beliefs, Values, and Ethical Decision-Making. Religions 2018, 9, 84.

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