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Vern Bengtson: Millennials, Parents and Grandparents

Are families still passing on the faith?

Vern BengtsonDate of Lecture: October 2, 2014

About the Speaker: Vern L. Bengtson is faculty research associate with the Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging at the University of Southern California. He is the former AARP/University Chair in Gerontology at USC, past president of the Gerontological Society of America and a MERIT awardee from the National Institutes of Health. He has published 17 books and 260 research papers on gerontology, theories of aging, sociology of aging and family sociology.

About the Talk: In the largest-ever study of religion and family across generations, Bengtson and his colleagues followed more than 350 families for nearly four decades to find out how religion is, or is not, passed down from one generation to the next. He shares his findings, as detailed in the 2013 book, “Families and Faith: Generations and the Transmissions of Religion” (Oxford University Press). “From the media as well as from religious leaders, we frequently hear messages that families are in a precarious position and that young adults are increasingly leaving the faith of their parents. Is this true?” Bengtson asks. “The results [of the study] suggest that the ‘faith generation gap’ is a myth, and that most churches are woefully blind to the opportunities and challenges of intergenerational ministry.”

The talk is one of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity

Watch the lecture below or download it free from iTunes U.