chapter  1
Young people and the changing face of Christianity
Pages 15

This chapter offers a much more focused understanding of individualisation as it takes shape within an institutional religion: indwelt individualisation. The uniqueness of the indwelt individualisation thesis lies in how it articulates the way individualisation proceeds for religious individuals who, while questioning traditionally accepted elements of their religion, choose to remain in it. The concept of indwelt individualisation proposes that a self-defining attitude towards religious identity construction buttresses two analytically distinct but in practice dialectically complementary processes of tradition maintenance and tradition construction. Religious individualisation is one of the many manifestations of detraditionalisation, a trend in which institutions prescribing acceptable behaviour appear to be losing their influence. The single plausibility structure that religion used to occupy offered a unified worldview and behaviour. In contrast to traditional religion that emphasises the gulf between humanity and divinity, spiritualities emphasise seeking, individual authority, and the cultivation and sacralisation of the self.