Smith, Christian with Patricia Snell. SOULS IN TRANSITION: THE RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL LIVES OF EMERGING ADULTS. Oxford University Press, 2010. 368 pages. Cloth. ISBN 978-0195371796
A few years ago Christian Smith published a seminal work summarizing his research into the religious and spiritual lives of American teeneagers. All the research for that book derived from the National Study of Youth and Religion. His findings changed dramatically our understanding of teen religion. He emphasized that teens are more traditional than we had thought, adopting, for the most part, the religion and spirituality of their parents, a vague, self-defined spirituality Smith titled Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. Souls in Transition is the follow-up study to Soul-Searching, analyzing data on the teenagers who are now emerging adults. Smith is a sociologist of religion, so the book reads like a work of sociology, with a heavy emphasis on statistics and data-analysis from interviews. However, it is not a dry read. Librarians will want to acquire Soul-Searching and Souls in Transition as a set. Together, they will give readers a better picture of the spiritual lives of teenagers and emerging adults than any other book on the market today.