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Richard Doty

Roger Levesque
IU Criminal Justice Department

Last modified: Wednesday, December 4, 2002

Book on teens, religion and the law written by IU criminal justice professor

The topic of teenagers, religion and the law is explored in a just-published book by Roger Levesque, professor of criminal justice at Indiana University Bloomington.

Not by Faith Alone -- Religion, Law and Adolescence is the title of the book published by New York University Press. It is intended for an academic audience, especially readers interested in law and social sciences.

"The beliefs that teenagers have about religion are important to them," Levesque said, "but these beliefs can sometimes have destructive ramifications for society when linked to racial/ethnic violence or sexual orientation harassment." His book is the first attempt to integrate research on the place of religion in adolescent development and to discuss the relevance of this research for policies and laws that regulate religion in the lives of teenagers, he said.

Topics covered in chapters of the book include religion and adolescents in changing times, adolescents' religious development, religiosity's potentially paradoxical influences, shifts in the regulation of religion, and regulating adolescents' religious environments.

Levesque said that with such a high interest in religion among adolescents (95 percent of American teens aged 13-17 believe in God or a universal spirit), it is important to find ways to channel this interest into positive outcomes for both the individual and society.

Levesque is the author of more than 50 scholarly articles and book chapters dealing with adolescence, family life and the law. His most recent books include Dangerous Adolescents, Model Adolescents: Shaping the Role and Promise of Education and Adolescents, and Sex and the Law: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Citizenship.

For more information, contact Levesque at 812-856-1210 or