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How digital religion is shaping spirituality among millennials

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The growing trend of digital religion among U.S. and Canadian millennials primarily complements, not replaces, personal participation in organized religion, a new study finds.

As digital forms of communication proliferated, many in the religious community saw an opportunity to turn the tide of secularization in North America. The study by Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, a sociology professor at the University of Waterloo, examines whether digital technologies are enabling a “spiritual revolution” and whether they provide important spiritual and religious spaces for new segments of the population that are removed from more conventional forms of life. organized religion.

“We know that more and more people are turning to digital media for spirituality, such as chat groups with pastors, online sermons, and religious content on social media,” Wilkins-Laflamme says. “We found that while digital religion doesn’t necessarily attract many new millennials to participate, it does enrich the experience of those already involved.”

Wilkins-Laflamme notes that while digital religion is a phenomenon among many millennials, it is not part of the lives of the vast majority of this demographic.

“However, it is still present for a significant minority of the young adult population, and for many of them digital religion plays an important complementary role in the personal practice of their faith,” Wilkins-Laflamme said.

While previous scholarship has explored the adoption of digital religion and its role in spirituality, Wilkins-Laflamme’s report is the first to examine exactly who practices it and for what purpose.

“The social environment plays an important role, with digital religion practices much more prevalent in the generally more religious American context, compared to the generally more secular Canadian context,” Wilkins-Laflamme said. “Digital religion practices are often, but not always, linked to other personal religious and spiritual activities among millennials.”

The study, Digital Religion Among US and Canadian Millennial Adults, was published in the Assessment of religious research.


Research highlights the importance of religious voices in a changing social landscape


More information:
Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, Digital Religion Among American and Canadian Millennial Adults, Assessment of religious research (2021). DOI: 10.1007/s13644-021-00463-0

Provided by the University of Waterloo


Quote: How Digital Religion Is Shaping Spirituality Among Millennials (2022, July 27) retrieved July 27, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-07-digital-religion-spirituality-millennials.html

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