“Whatever”? Religion, Youth, and Identity in 21st Century Australia

In: Youth, Religion, and Identity in a Globalizing Context
Authors: Anna Halafoff and Laura Gobey

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This chapter interrogates the prevalent view that young Australians are religiously ambivalent and disengaged, displaying a “whatever” approach to religious diversity. It draws on data gathered from the first scholarly research project to have been conducted on InterAction, an Australian multifaith youth organization founded and directed by young people with both religious and non-religious worldviews. The research project’s primary aim was to investigate the role of multifaith youth engagement and education about religions and worldviews in advancing social inclusion and countering extremism in and beyond Australia. This chapter focuses on the project’s second aim, to explore the religious identities of the young people involved in this multifaith network and how they influenced their levels of social engagement. In so doing it provides new insights to the study of youth, religion and identity more broadly, on characteristics of hybridity, mobility, commitment, questioning, and interconnectivity, that may also be applicable to other contexts beyond Australia.


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