“None of the above” is the fastest-growing religious identifier in the United States, a category boosted by a surge of younger people. This generational shift is the greatest challenge facing religious communities, and one with enormous implications for American society: the “Nones” have fewer social connections and less social capital than their parents and grandparents.
What does this disaffiliation mean for the future of the U.S.? What does it mean for the future of faith? Who are the “Nones” anyway? Are they atheists? Agnostics? Just indifferent? “The ‘Meh’ Generation?” Or does their attitude point toward a new path for traditional religious communities?
Kaya Oakes has written widely on religion in the contemporary world, including her book, The Nones Are Alright: A New Generation of Seekers, Believers, and Those In Between. She writes for America, Commonweal, and other publications and websites.
Tara Isabella Burton is a New York-based novelist (Social Creature) who writes widely on religion. Her next book, Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World, will be published in spring 2020.
Ryan Burge, an American Baptist Church pastor, is an assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University and has published widely in academic journals and popular news outlets about the next generation of believers—and nonbelievers.
This event is open to alumni, faculty/staff, parents, students, and the public.