Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Uncertainty, reconstruction and resistance: young adults' responses to religious diversity in Spain and the UK.

Woods, Ruth; Fern�ndez, Ana


Ana Fern�ndez


Young people in diverse societies routinely encounter worldviews different from their own, but we know relatively little about how these encounters affect them. This study investigated how young adults in Britain and Spain respond to encounters with other worldviews, focusing on whether and how their existing worldviews were affected. We conducted semi-structured interviews with twenty participants. Thematic and narrative analyses revealed three main responses: uncertainty, reconstruction and resistance. Encounters with alternative worldviews often led young people to feel uncertain about their own beliefs, particularly those which they understood to be contradicted by the alternative worldview. Reconstruction occurred when participants adopted elements of newly encountered worldviews to create an idiosyncratic religiosity or spirituality. Resistance captured those instances where participants dismissed alternative worldviews as epistemologically or morally problematic. The findings indicate that young people in the UK and Spain are responding in several distinct ways to religious diversity.


WOODS, R. and FERNÁNDEZ, A. 2023. Uncertainty, reconstruction and resistance: young adults' responses to religious diversity in Spain and the UK. Religion [online], 53(2), pages 224-245. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 8, 2022
Online Publication Date Jun 22, 2022
Publication Date Jun 30, 2023
Deposit Date Jun 14, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jun 14, 2022
Journal Religion
Print ISSN 0048-721X
Electronic ISSN 1096-1151
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 2
Pages 224-245
Keywords Religious pluralism; Religious diversity; Multiculturalism; Religion and young people; Religion and society; Spain; UK; Relativisation; Syncretism; Religion; Belief
Public URL


WOODS 2023 Uncertainty reconstruction and resistance (VOR) (1.9 Mb)


Copyright Statement
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

Final VOR uploaded 02.05.2023

You might also like

Downloadable Citations