Faith Away From Home : how Christian Youth Encounter Pluralism
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While much has been written about how youth develop their religious identities, there is little research that examines how the process of moving into different environments affects religious identity in a Norwegian context. This project sets out to answer the research question, “How do young Norwegians of Christian background who have moved to Oslo experience their religious identity after their change in environment?” This project recruited seven participants who grew up in various places across Norway and had moved to Oslo within the past 10 years. In-depth qualitative interviews were used to capture their religious experiences at home and in Oslo. This project utilises Peter Berger’s theory of pluralism in modern society to analyse how those who have moved to Oslo as young adults had to navigate the internal pressure of being Christian while being faced with pluralism and secularism. Berger argues that with multiple religious positions available, no single religion can be taken for granted. Due to external complexity in the world, and individual is forced inward to decide what to believe. The findings according to this analysis were complex. Some youth were compelled to radically reorient their identity according to their surroundings, while others limited their contact with opposing religious positions. A common theme emerged however; in the complexity of Norway’s religious landscape, youth had to individually choose religious expressions that were subjectively meaningful for themselves.