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OP - Cultures Apart

by Oliver Brennan
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The rapid economic, social and cultural changes that have occurred in Ireland over the last few decades has had an enormous impact on the beliefs and values of young people. This book is the culmination of years of research into the human, cultural and religious experiences that shape contemporary Irish youth. Using five personal case studies, as well as comprehensive figures from the latest surveys, the author begins by highlighting the stark reality of rapidly declining Mass attendance, disillusionment with the Catholic Church and the emergence of personalised belief systems, revealing the urgent need for positive action to prevent further decline.

Dr Brennan then highlights new possibilities and offers some valuable insights gained from years of work in educational and pastoral ministry with young people. He identifies an openness among young people to the mystical and spiritual dimension of human experience, as well as a search for community; and he concludes by proposing a set of principles that encompass areas of mutual interest, which could be used to underpin a post-modern educational and pastoral approach to this new reality.