The Nones Are Alright
By: Kaya Oakes
OverviewCATHOLIC PRESS ASSOCIATION BOOK AWARD WINNER! - PASTORAL MINISTRY
"Kaya Oakes has written the Growing Up Absurd for 21st century religion -- honest, inconvenient for the status quo, yet hopeful. The Nones Are Alright is an essential primer on the challenge religion faces today and a case for why that challenge is so worth meeting."-- Nathan Schneider, author, God in Proof
"This beautifully written book describes many examples of the 'nones' -- those who say they have no religious affiliations -- and their aspirations and conflicts around faith." --Tanya Marie Lurhman, author, When God Talks Back
"This book proves once again that Kaya Oakes isn't afraid of honest conversation or tough questions. Through her interviews and reflections, she reminds readers that the spiritual life can involve both wonder and wandering and that growing in faith sometimes feels a lot like doubt." --Kerry Weber, managing editor, America and author, Mercy in the City
Almost a third of American Millennials (not to mention their Gen-X elders) have chosen to live a life free from institutional religion. Many of those who do remain in the denominations and faith expressions in which they were raised tend to practice their faith in ways rather more syncretic and casual than previous generations. But beyond the surprising and puzzling statistics, don’t these “seekers” and “nones” have their own stories to tell?
Kaya Oakes, herself a “revert” to the Catholic faith, doesn’t just write from the perspective of her own encounters with faith and its absence, but also introduces the reader to a broad range of voices and experiences, interviewing dozens of young Americans on how and why they practice (or don’t practice) their faith. She also explores specifically how a Catholic generation of young seekers is experiencing, and changing, the Catholic Church in the United States. “The future of faith,” she concludes, “remains a mystery. But isn’t faith also a mystery?”
Kaya Oakes is author of Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church (Counterpoint, 2012), Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture (Holt, 2009), and Telegraph (Pavement- Saw, 2007), She teaches writing at the University of California, Berkeley.