chapter  11
16 Pages

Young People and Residual Christian Culture

WithSylvia Collins-Mayo

Vicarious religion re-focuses the sociological imagination back onto the relationship between individual believers, the Church and wider Christian culture. Davie refers to the management of death through Christian funerals as an important example of vicarious religion in action. The Christian template was then combined with wider cues from popular culture to form the basis of the young people's occasional prayer activity. Being infrequent churchgoers and in the main coming from families of infrequent churchgoers, as would be expected from the vicarious religion perspective the young people had only scant knowledge of the conceptual content of the Christian tradition. The significance of Christian youth workers holding Christian beliefs with integrity is that they kept the possibility and plausibility of Christian faith alive in the young people's minds. Discussions with Christian youth workers about belief provided opportunities for the young people to consider their own beliefs.