Based on the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR), this interdisciplinary book offers ten contributions from Protestant and Catholic scholars who are experts in youth ministry. Each chapter focuses on some aspect of the survey concerning Hispanic teens, offers pastoral experiences and theological reflections, and concludes with pastoral recommendations. In the Foreword, Christian Smith, the principle investigator of the NSYR, reminds us that he had requested a specific study about Hispanic teens. The editor opens the book with an overview: there has been important growth in the young Hispanic population since 1990, it is of great diversity, there is a slight tendency to leave the Catholic Church for Protestant churches among English teens, some become less religious than their parents, and so on. He summarizes the challenges of the various pastoral categories, the identity seekers, the mainstream movers, the immigrant workers, the gang members or high risk teens; and he completes the picture in the eighth chapter on the second phase of the national study.
Sanabria analyses personal religious beliefs and personal practices. DeJesú-Sáenz reflects on youth participation and their environment, and the kind of pastoral strategy they need. Carillos addresses the issue of culture and faith in Hispanic families. Ramos reflects on education, future and theological meaning while Conde-Frazier reflects on their moral life and Chávez on their political and social involvement. The last chapters concerns specifically Protestant and Catholic groups.
This book is clear and well presented; it will certainly be helpful even beyond Hispanic circles. The statistical and sociological information presented throughout the volume is of high quality. As youth increasingly constitutes an independent religious space with its many sub-cultures, a variety of approaches is needed, as well illustrated in this the book.