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Youth and Religion


As we’ve discussed in the past, the Pacific Northwest — particularly Portland — is considered the “None Zone.” That’s because when people from here are asked what religion they are, many answer “none.”

Lewis and Clark professor Monica Miller wondered what was behind that deceptively simple answer. So, she created a different sort of survey. Her Remaking Religion project is designed to discover how young people in Portland think about religion and faith. She says,

We are interested in the changing landscape of religion among young people by exploring the cultural words and everyday practices that often shape their perspectives of the world in which they live.

She and her students have been administering their survey on the streets, in coffee shops, bars and anywhere else they can find young people who will answer questions like: what do you hold sacred?

Are you a religious person? How do you define your own spirituality? Where do you see faith fitting into the lives of young people in Portland?

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