I have just finished reading Sally Nash and the Mayos (Sylvia Collins-Mayo and Bob) 2010 follow-up to Making sense of Generation Y. I had both enjoyed and found their first book to be a really interesting piece of work and so I had watched out for the arrival of this follow-up with some interest.
I’ve not been disappointed.
The Faith of Generation Y continues the examination of our 18-30 something’s by looking at them from both sociological and theological perspectives. I particularly found the sociological work on their ‘lack of story’ and ‘bedroom spirituality’ to be really useful and interesting.
As someone who grew up in the tail-end of Generation X, I found their discussion of the bedroom really rang bells with me as well since God had been part of my life in my teenage years there long before I darkened the door of a church.
The ‘lack of story’ essentially builds on the post-modern idea of a lack of meta-narrative and, interestingly, may have had a very direct example given to us in the Royal Wedding with so many young people present on the streets… much to my surprise. Was that a search for a unifying story, a narrative to tell us what it means to be British?
The book concludes with a chapter from one of my heros, the now Rt Rev Chris Cocksworth, as he rehearses some of his subject-matter from Holding Together.The desire for ‘authentic’ Church is one of the conclusions of the book which fits nicely with Chris’ themes in recent years of how we can be evangelical, catholic and charismatic together. Put more simply Christian faith cannot be taken out of the form of the Church and its lived practice in the power of the Spirit. Put even more simply, you have to love in a community to live it but also display it to others.
If you’ve been following the various books written about Generation Y, I don’t suppose that this material will be too much of an eye-opener for you. But if it’s a subject of interest to you (and it is to me), it’s a good chance to go deeper with some of the themes and look at them from different angles. Worth a read.