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Colleen Carroll Campbell Describes "The New Faithful" at Young Adult Event

Nov. 8, 2004, ST. LOUIS, MO. -- Growing numbers of America's young adults are Colleen Carroll Campbellseeking out a demanding, life-changing faith that includes mystery, a traditional morality and service, reported keynoter Colleen Carroll Campbell at a Nov. 8 Young Adult Event sponsored by the National Council of Churches on the eve of the Nov. 9-11 NCC/Church World Service annual General Assembly.  She is author of "The New Faithful: Why Young Adults are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy."  Among characteristics of their faith:

  • Hunger to know and experience the richness of their own religious tradition -- and to share their faith, resulting in not only Protestant evangelicals but also evangelical Catholics and Orthodox Christians.

  • Rejection of a materialistic culture that does not seem to care about protecting life.  As a result, nearly all oppose abortion.  Unless the culture welcomes life at its earliest stages, they reason, it certainly won't welcome and protect it later.  Some reject artificial contraception and are choosing to have large families.

  • A tough, "highest common denominator" ecumenism. "They bring everything they are to the table, including the most controversial parts of their faith," Campbell said.  "This is truth worth fighting for, not just holding hands and getting along."

  • Service to the poor that grows out of the conversion experience.  For the most part college educated, some join religious orders demanding absolute poverty, chastity and obedience; others form their own small groups committed to service; others do pro bono work or take jobs in rural or low-income communities.

Campbell, an award-winning journalist and author, served as a speech writer for President George W. Bush in 2003 and returned recently to St. Louis, where she works as a fellow for the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based research institution.


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