What will the next generation of Catholics be like? Will they have a strong sense of their identity as Catholic Christians, or will they reflect a more generic Christian identity, without the distinctives associated with Catholicism?
Some social commentators suggest that the Catholic identity of young adult Catholics is in jeopardy, with a less ecclesial faith, a thin commitment to the institutional church, and alack of familiarity with the Catholic tradition. Others argue that there are signs that a new generation of younger Catholics is emerging, not al of whom fall easily into the liberal/conservative categories, though many Catholics over fifty tend to dismiss them as conservative, neo-conservative, or even restorationist.
Thomas Rausch's book examines a number of recent studies of young adult Catholics as well as different ways that being Catholic is developed and supported, from the Catholic imagination to a reexamination of Christian origins in the light of the charges made in The Da Vinci Code, to the domestic church and Catholic colleges and universities.
Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, PhD, is the T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Theology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is the author of Towards a Truly Catholic Church, Who is Jesus?, Catholicism in the Third Millennium, and editor of the bestselling The College Student's Introduction to Theology, al published by Liturgical Press.