Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2010


College of Arts and Media


Department of English and Foreign Languages


This article discusses the religious dimension in contemporary adolescent novels of recognized merit. It notes psychological and sociological studies indicating that religion is a significant factor in the actual lives of both adults and adolescents and observes that consequently it can be expected that quality literature will reflect this reality. A functional definition of religion was used to address the practical and varied ways religious or religious-like dynamics are engaged by adolescent characters. Religion was defined as whatever individuals do to come to grips with profound existential issues—questions dealing with ultimate issues. An examination of works by three major writers for adolescents utilizing this definition reveals how varied, complex, and profound a role religion frequently plays in the quality literature written for adolescents.