Bengtson, 72, is a professor emeritus of gerontology and sociology
at the University of Southern California. He discussed boomers, the rebellious group born between 1946 and 1964 and known for spurning institutional models....Q: You list examples in your book of young boomers saying they reject religion. “I do not want anything to do with it (religion). ” And “I believe in God but do not go to church.” How then do you make the jump that they will eventually go to a church or synagogue when they’re older?
A: When people get older, they retire and have more time to think about moral, religious and spiritual things. Our study shows this. It’s the life course. They will also face a serious illness or lose a loved one for the first time. The religious education of their grandchildren becomes a concern for some grandparents. Not all, but some are concerned the parents aren’t doing enough. They might have skipped a generation by not educating their own children, but they got older and discovered one of the most wonderful things in life and won’t want to miss an opportunity with their grandchildren.