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America Magazine: The National Catholic Review




Much has been made about the “nones” and the current demographics of belief in the United States, especially those of young people. The term nones rose to prominence when a Pew Research Center poll in 2012 called “Nones on the Rise” discovered that nearly 20 percent of Americans claim no religious affiliation—a number that has been steadily climbing since 2007. Last January, National Public Radio aired a weeklong series titled “Losing Our Religion: The Growth of the nones.” In the spring of 2013, a poll conducted by Michael Hout of the University of California, Berkeley, and Mark A. Chaves of Duke University similarly found that religious affiliation in the United States is at its lowest point since it began to be tracked.

Other researchers do not accept that number. But what was not denied in these studies was the hyperactive rate at which “none” was being declared by members of the millennial generation—the cohort born between the early 1980s and late 1990s. The initial Pew survey found that nearly 32 percent of this group claims no religious affiliation. No doubt many readers of America are familiar with this signature phenomenon of Generation Y (there have been several articles about it in these pages); but, while much has been said about the topic of nones and religion, very little has been written about what might have begotten such thinking and about the intellectual context in which the religious opinions of nones were formed.



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America Press Inc.






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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.