This study aims to explore the reasons behind the religious affiliations and opinions of emerging adults. Neurological, psychological and sociological background research by authors such as Pascal Boyer, D.C. Dennett, Dean H. Hamer, Sam Harris and Kevin Nelson is included to understand the history of the development of religiosity in humans. This ranges from where spirituality resides in the brain, to what it does for our well-being and what purpose it serves in our individual minds, as well as what religion can provide for society from the most basic survival requirements to additional desirable benefits. 96 seniors at The College of Wooster replied to a questionnaire for statistical analysis, which was focused on religion in the family and community during youth and how it may have affected the religious opinions of each individual. This questionnaire fixated on demographics and basic familial norms such as whether respondents’ parents were married and what type of primary schools they attended. Ten of those respondents were interviewed in order to understand the development of their religious opinions due to familial affiliations and pressures, religious institutions and educational environments. The results of this study were not conclusive, but give insight into how the means by which one is raised may affect how they perceive their spirituality as they grow.


Charles Kammer


Religious Studies


Other Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Kelli W. Baxstrom