Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Millenial Generation

Intentional Disciples, a great blog for those interested in evangelization, asks if the millenial generation is "premoral". I will have to think about this for a while, because it is a very compelling question. Here is a snip:
But the overall description of twenty something emerging adults (including the 80% of I-Gen Catholics who seldom or never darken the door and the 75% of Americans who are non-Catholic) is just plain jaw-dropping.

"One of the most insightful elements of Mann's book is whether iGens feel guilt. For a person to feel guilty, that person must have a sense of morality. But morality requires a potent sense of what is right and wrong, and it needs a powerful sense of what is true and false. Contemporary culture does not provide the average iGen with a profound grasp of what is right and wrong apart from the conviction that assaulting the self is clearly wrong.

Yet deciding to stake one's life on Jesus and the cross requires a sense that we are wrong, that we need Jesus, and that his saving death and resurrection can become effective. Mann claims that iGens are neither moral nor amoral. Instead, because of trends like the self-esteem movement and the impact of relativism, he concludes that iGens are pre-moral. Mann suggests that they do not feel guilt as much as they feel shame for not achieving what they are designed to accomplish.

UPDATE: I read the article referred to above, which I recommend for context. They say that Evangelical Protestant evangelism doesn't work as well with this generation because they do not respond to the fact that we are all sinners and in need of healing. My first thought was that the Catholic Church is in a perfect place to evangelize with Good News that will meet this generation where they are at - with JPII's Theology of the Body. It does not dwell on the negative aspects of human nature, but the positives.

Just a thought.

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