Christian Smith, Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults

Oxford University Press, New York, 2009, pp. 299, ISBN 978-0-19-537179-6
  • Mark MolterEmail author
Book Review

In Souls in Transition, Professor Christian Smith provides a detailed survey of emerging adults’ experiences with religion. Due to the broad nature of the research, Smith embarks on a rather daunting task. By using the National Study of Youth and Religion (“NSYR”), Smith categorizes and interprets an impressive amount of data that helps readers understand and organize information pertaining to emerging adults and religion. Using data from the NSYR surveys, the author draws broad conclusions about the religious lives of all American emerging adults. While Souls in Transition offers a variety of information about a wide, general area of study, its focus is exceedingly wide; so wide that it ultimately limits Smith’s contribution to the study of religiosity and emerging adults. In other words, Souls in Transition’s topic of study is far too broad for any author to significantly describe, which makes Smith’s work seem too general. Considering, then, the wide, general nature of the topic,...


  1. Arnett, J. J. (2006). Emerging adulthood: The winding road from the late teens through the twenties. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Smith, C. (2005). Soul searching: The religious & spiritual lives of American teenagers. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Smith, C. (2009). Souls in transition: The religious & spiritual lives of emerging adults. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana University, BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA

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