The aim of this thesis is twofold. First, it is aimed at describing the way in which the church, the family and the school are functioning as forming institutions for the identity development of Christian youth at the beginning of the 21st century. Second, it is aimed at defining a research framework for further analysis of religious identity formation in a modern context. Four research questions are central.\ud 1. How may religious identity development of Christian youth in the modern context of The Netherlands at the beginning of the 21st century be described? The explorations of youth are strongly influenced by an ever changing supply of the market and commerce; this is also true for the “religious market” and the great amount of supply of stuff on spirituality and sense making. Youth seems to make either none or many ever changing and successive commitments with respect to religious beliefs and worldviews. In other words: there seems to be an increasing process of fragmentised identity development.\ud 2. How may the functioning of the institutions of the church, the family, and the school with regard to religious formation in a modern context of The Netherlands at the beginning of the 21st century be described? With respect to supporting religious identity development, there seems to be a decrease of acting conform the model of `transmission of belief content`. Much more accent is laid on facilitating the making of individual choices by youth themselves and linking to the life styles of youth. These life styles are more strongly connected to the life world of youth themselves. The school, the family, and the church function loosely in relation to each other, each searching for connection with the life world of Christian youth. \ud 3. In what manners are the institutions of the church, the family and the school probing the formation of religious identities of Christian youth in The Netherlands at the beginning of the 21st century? At the core of how nowadays identity development is probed is the experienced tension between the ideal of transmission, e.g. by a coherent functioning of the triangle of church, family, and school, on the one hand, and the principle of youth autonomy leading to individual construction of religious identities highly disconnected from the institutions around them, at the other. There is also the feeling that Christian youth is struggling with a lack of sense making and security; a situation on which the institutions should have adequate answers. \ud 4. Which framework is provided by the answers to the research questions 1-3, with may be used for a research program on the theme of religious identity formation in a modern context? The thesis presents a research framework with three basic research questions: \ud 1. Does Christian youth identify itself with one or more dimensions of religion, and if yes, in what manner(s)? \ud 2. Does Christian youth identify itself with a religious community by functional identification, and if yes, in what manner(s)?\ud 3. In which manner do these identification processes develop during adolescence of Christian youth
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