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Accepted Paper:

Young adults, religious authorities and sexuality: a multifaith discussion  
Michael Keenan (Nottingham Trent University) Sarah-Jane Page (University of Nottingham) Andrew Yip (University of Nottingham)

Paper long abstract:

This paper will explore the negotiations which arise for young religious adults in connecting their individual experiences and religious identities with institutional religious structures and authorities. The paper explores these negotiations with particular reference to young peoples' sexual identities, practices and choices. Whether religious young people are becoming 'acceptably' or 'unacceptably' sexual in the eyes of their institutional religion they do this with the need to reference beyond religious authority due to the continued silencing of the sexual often found within institutional religions. Using data from the online questionnaire and semi-structured interview stage of the 'Religion, Youth and Sexuality: A multi-faith exploration' this paper reflects on young adults aged 18-25 from 6 different religions opinions and understandings of their religious authorities. The paper argues that young religious people imaginatively construct their lives as religious and sexual adults with reference to a combination of religious tradition, cultural values and everyday experience.

Panel W034
Crisis in church? Religious authority and religious experience
  Session 1