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Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

Impact factor: 1.396 5-Year impact factor: 1.535 Print ISSN: 0021-8294 Publisher: Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)

Subject: Sociology

Most recent papers:

  • Is RELTRAD Still the Gold Standard?
    Jason E. Shelton.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. October 25, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The RELTRAD syntax remains the most influential operational method for assessing religious affiliations among respondents in major surveys. However, RELTRAD suffers from several key limitations. Consequently, a new coding scheme known as “Religious Identification” has emerged as an alternative. The goal of this article is to determine whether one of these disparate techniques yields more insightful results that further our knowledge of the dynamics of American religion. Findings from the 1984–2016 General Social Survey indicate that RELTRAD offers more precise statistical estimates when analyzing various religious sensibilities and religious‐related social attitudes. This is due to several factors, most notable is RELTRAD's recognition of distinctiveness within the African‐American Protestant religion tradition. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, EarlyView.
    October 25, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12557   open full text
  • Response to Measuring Religious Identification in the United States.
    Tom W. Smith.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. October 25, 2018
    --- - - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, EarlyView.
    October 25, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12558   open full text
  • Identifications, Identities, and Beliefs: Why the Scientific Study of Religion Should Not Take Shortcuts.
    Darren E. Sherkat, Derek Lehman.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. October 25, 2018
    --- - - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, EarlyView.
    October 25, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12556   open full text
  • Religious Identification, Switching, and Apostasy Among Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland: Individual and Cohort Dynamics Between Two Censuses 2001–2011.
    Stefanie Doebler, Ian Shuttleworth.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. October 05, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Religious identification has historically been salient in Northern Ireland as an ethnic‐national identity marker. Thirteen years after the Good Friday Agreement that marked the start of the peace process in the country, the question arises whether religious affiliation in Northern Ireland has become less of an ethnonational identity marker and more of a personal choice. This article analyzes religious switching and apostasy between 2001 and 2011, using data from the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study, a representative sample of approximately 28 percent of the population, linked to the 2001 and 2011 censuses. We found that the vast majority retained their self‐reported religious affiliation, a tiny minority switched between Protestantism and Catholicism, and a significant minority, particularly among the young, switched to “none/not stated” or between Protestant denominations. Religious switching is associated with young age, higher education, and also socioeconomic deprivation. Experiences of social frustration appear to drive many to leave their faith. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, EarlyView.
    October 05, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12554   open full text
  • The Religiosity of Academic Scientists in the United Kingdom: Assessing the Role of Discipline and Department Status.
    Elaine Howard Ecklund, Christopher P. Scheitle, Jared Peifer.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. October 04, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Studies examining the religiosity of academic scientists have often focused on comparisons with the general population, overlooking dynamics that could lead to religiosity differences within the scientist population. Expanding this literature, we present data from a survey of religiosity among scientists in the United Kingdom. We compare biologists and physicists employed at elite and nonelite departments, as past research has suggested that disciplinary and status divisions could be salient in understanding differences in scientists’ religiosity. We find that biologists in the United Kingdom are more likely than physicists to say they never attend religious services. Similarly, U.K. scientists in elite departments are more likely than those in nonelite departments to say they never attend religious services. We do not find significant differences between disciplines or status types for more private measures of religion. We argue that these patterns could result from perceived conflicts between public religious practice and meeting professional norms. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, EarlyView.
    October 04, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12552   open full text
  • The Surprising Predictable Decline of Religion in the United States.
    Simon Brauer.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. October 02, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Scholars over the past several decades have noted the resilience of religion in the United States (Chaves 2011; Gorski and Altınordu 2008; Hadden 1987:601–02; Presser and Chaves 2007), but many recognize that the youngest U.S. cohorts are significantly lower on several religious characteristics than older cohorts (Hout and Fischer 2014; Putnam and Campbell 2012; Voas and Chaves 2016). Scholars have proposed several explanations for this trend, disagreeing about whether it is the result of a particular cultural moment or an ongoing process leading to even greater religious decline. Voas (2009) proposed one such explanation. He used European data to show that the proportion of nonreligious people in each cohort only became significant when previous cohorts reached a critical mass of moderately religious people. Voas’s model is novel and promising but has neither been examined statistically nor applied to U.S. data, which I take up here. I find that, surprisingly, the United States fits closely on the same trajectory of religious decline as European countries, suggesting a shared demographic process as opposed to idiosyncratic change. I conclude by discussing how these findings inform theories of self‐reinforcing religious decline and cross‐national patterns of religiosity. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, EarlyView.
    October 02, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12551   open full text
  • Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God: An Exploration of Religious Forces on Support for the Death Penalty.
    Paul D. C. Bones, Soheil Sabriseilabi.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 24, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Capital punishment originated with the earliest tribes, but in recent decades more than 140 countries have abolished the death penalty. Despite the opposition of many U.S. religious organizations, the majority of Americans favor the use of the death penalty. The role of religion in support for capital punishment remains unclear because most faiths contain opposing messages of punishment and redemption. This study seeks to provide a better understanding of this often contradictory relationship between religion and support for the death penalty. Using data from the 2008 wave of the General Social Survey, the authors explore how spirituality, religiosity, beliefs about the afterlife, theism, and religious tradition influence one's opinion of the death penalty. Results from robust Poisson regression show that religiosity decreases support for the death penalty, but a belief in Hell strongly increases support for punitive forms of corporeal justice. Uncertainty in the existence of an afterlife and the existence of Heaven also significantly affect support for the death penalty. Independent of these factors, conservatism had the largest effects on support for capital punishment. The divergent effects of religious expression are discussed. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, EarlyView.
    September 24, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12553   open full text
  • Issue Information ‐ TOC.

    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 12, 2018
    --- - - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 415-417, September 2018.
    September 12, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12356   open full text
  • RELIGION VS. SCIENCE: WHAT RELIGIOUS PEOPLE REALLY THINK. By Elaine Howard Ecklund and Christopher P. Scheitle. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. x + 224 pp. $29.95 cloth.
    John Schmalzbauer.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 12, 2018
    --- - - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 647-648, September 2018.
    September 12, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12548   open full text
  • DEFENDING FAITH: THE POLITICS OF THE CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE LEGAL MOVEMENT. By Daniel Bennett. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press. ix + 218 pp. $32.50 cloth, $30.88 Kindle.
    Clyde Wilcox.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 12, 2018
    --- - - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 644-645, September 2018.
    September 12, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12547   open full text
  • RELIGION AND PROGRESSIVE ACTIVISM: NEW STORIES ABOUT FAITH AND POLITICS. Edited by Ruth Braunstein, Todd Nicholas Fuist, and Rhys H. Williams. New York: New York University Press, 2017. viii + 387 pp. $89.00 cloth, $30.00 paper.
    Jerome P. Baggett.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 12, 2018
    --- - - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 645-646, September 2018.
    September 12, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12546   open full text
  • RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, EVOLUTONARY PSYCHIATRY, AND MENTAL HEALTH IN AMERICA. By Kevin J. Flannely. New York: Springer International Publishing AG, 2017. v + 341 pp. $109.00 eBook, $139.99 cloth.
    Andrea K. Henderson.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 12, 2018
    --- - - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 646-647, September 2018.
    September 12, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12545   open full text
  • Religious Fundamentalism in Eight Muslim‐Majority Countries: Reconceptualization and Assessment.
    Mansoor Moaddel, Stuart A. Karabenick.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 30, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract To capture the common features of diverse fundamentalist movements, overcome etymological variability, and assess predictors, religious fundamentalism is conceptualized as a set of beliefs about and attitudes toward religion, expressed in a disciplinarian deity, literalism, exclusivity, and intolerance. Evidence from representative samples of over 23,000 adults in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Turkey supports the conclusion that fundamentalism is stronger in countries where religious liberty is lower, religion less fractionalized, state structure less fragmented, regulation of religion greater, and the national context less globalized. Among individuals within countries, fundamentalism is linked to religiosity, confidence in religious institutions, belief in religious modernity, belief in conspiracies, xenophobia, fatalism, weaker liberal values, trust in family and friends, reliance on less diverse information sources, lower socioeconomic status, and membership in an ethnic majority or dominant religion/sect. We discuss implications of these findings for understanding fundamentalism and the need for further research. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, EarlyView.
    August 30, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12549   open full text
  • The Enduring Influence of Religion on Senators’ Legislative Behavior.
    Daniel Arnon.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 22, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Does a senator's personal religion influence their legislative behavior in the Senate? To date, empirical research has answered this question only using senators’ religious traditions, while more concurrent work implies that religion should be measured as a multifaceted phenomenon. This study tests this proposition by compiling a unique data set of senators’ religion, conceptualized and measured by three different elements—belonging, beliefs, and behavior. The study estimates the association between these three religious facets and senators’ legislative behavior on economic, social, and foreign policy issues, while controlling for their constituencies’ political and religious preferences. It finds that religious beliefs are a strong predictor of senators’ legislative behavior, while religious tradition and behavior are mostly not. Furthermore, it finds that religious beliefs are associated with legislative behavior across a wide array of policy areas and are not confined to sociocultural issues. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 567-584, September 2018.
    August 22, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12535   open full text
  • The Judicialization of Religious Freedom: An Institutionalist Approach.
    Damon Mayrl.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 21, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Recent years have seen growing interest in the judicialization of religious freedom (JRF). In this article, I identify two distinct meanings of JRF, which are often conflated but which need to be kept separate. I then argue for a stronger institutionalist approach to JRF. An institutionalist approach focuses our attention on both the rules internal to courts, and the relationship of courts to administrative agencies, legislatures, and other governing bodies. I argue that there is room to strengthen our analyses of JRF by paying greater attention to these institutional dynamics. I demonstrate this by highlighting two overlooked features of courts—interpretive rules and access rules—that are particularly important for governing JRF; and by developing a framework that relates the courts to other institutional venues and political actors. In so doing, I identify a number of promising directions for future research into the causes and consequences of JRF. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 514-530, September 2018.
    August 21, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12532   open full text
  • The Influence of Institutional Salience on Political Attitudes and Activism among Catholic Priests in the United States.
    Brian R. Calfano, Elizabeth A. Oldmixon.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 17, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract What motivates clergy political attitudes and behavior? We investigate this using a questions‐as‐treatment randomized experiment focusing on Roman Catholic priests in the United States. Our results suggest substantial utility in using a question frame referencing the distinct institutional expectations that clergy regularly confront. Specifically, when randomly primed to consider the expectations of institutional reference groups, clergy exhibit significantly higher levels of conservatism and report higher levels of political engagement, which is in line with their church's institutional preferences more generally. Our findings underscore the need for experimental methodology to make increased inroads into understanding political outcomes in religious contexts. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 634-643, September 2018.
    August 17, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12540   open full text
  • Measuring Religious Identification in the United States.
    Derek Lehman, Darren E. Sherkat.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 16, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract A popular measure of religious identification poses several problems for researchers because of its lack of conceptual and historical grounding. The scheme truncates continuity along the well‐established sect‐church continuum, and poses problems for both theory and methodological operationalization. We reiterate the importance of key sociological and historical foundations for classifying religious groups, provide an empirical assessment of a more exacting scheme compared to the newly dominant classification, and supply a coding system for the General Social Survey which could also be applied to other studies. We conclude by discussing the usefulness of our categorization for advancing social science research on religious identification. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, EarlyView.
    August 16, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12543   open full text
  • Losing or Choosing Faith: Mother Loss and Religious Change.
    Renae Wilkinson.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 16, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Maternal religiosity is associated with children's religiosity even as they grow into adults. Yet, experiencing the death of one's mother during the transition to adulthood could modify the transmission of maternal religiosity across the life course. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), I find that the relationship between mother loss and religiosity is bidirectional. Results from longitudinal models of child religiosity across the transition from adolescence to adulthood show that mother loss is negatively associated with service attendance but is positively associated with salience. Further, mother loss predicted higher frequency of prayer among bereaved children at lower levels of maternal religiosity but lower prayer frequency at higher levels of mothers’ religiousness. Overall, these findings direct attention to differences in the associations between mother loss and indicators of religiosity and to the interplay between mother loss and maternal religiosity as important factors in the transmission of religiosity across generations. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, EarlyView.
    August 16, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12542   open full text
  • “God is My First Aid Kit”: The Negotiation of Health and Illness among Christian Scientists.
    Rebecca A. Steckler, John P. Bartkowski.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 16, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Christian Scientists’ rejection of conventional medical practices has generated considerable controversy. Using insights from theories of subcultural identity and cultural repertoires, we analyze elite discourse and adherent narratives from 20 Christian Scientists to examine how this nonmedicalized religion engages the challenges posed by the highly medicalized character of American society. The writings of Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy primarily exhibit a critical posture toward conventional medicine, although conciliatory language is also evident in these same works. These discursive nuances provide Christian Science adherents with latitude in negotiating health and illness in their everyday lives. Interview data reveal that negotiated health practices are particularly evident in three domains: using prayer as a means of seeking divine guidance, developing metaphysical competency as a healer, and weighing options based on legal mandates for seeking medical treatment. We conclude by specifying the implications of our findings and identifying directions for future research. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 585-603, September 2018.
    August 16, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12533   open full text
  • Human Rights and Religion: A Sociological Perspective.
    Olga Breskaya, Giuseppe Giordan, James T. Richardson.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 14, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract This essay aims to review mainstream literature and research perspectives on the sociology of human rights with the further focus on relationship between human rights and religion. We consider the challenges of late engagement of sociology with human rights and current narratives of the relationship of human rights and religion that encompass normativity as the central category of historically oriented sociology. We discuss the contribution of two empirical research mainstreams on human rights and religion and focus on a new field of study—sociology of religious freedom. A detailed new agenda for sociological research on human rights and religion is explored in the final part of our assessment. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 419-431, September 2018.
    August 14, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12544   open full text
  • Does Funding Impact Our Research? Causality, Normativity, and Diversity in 40 Years of U.S. Sociology of Religion.
    Matthew May, David Smilde.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 10, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract In this article we use a sample of 40 years of sociology journal articles (N = 1,024) on religion to ask what role funding plays in some of the leading trends in the subdiscipline. Our analysis reveals a considerable increase in the number of published articles on religion with funding over the past 40 years as well as a shift away from public funding as the primary source of funding. Engaging our findings in previous analyses of this database, we surprisingly find a positive correlation between public funding and positive socio‐evaluative findings in articles on religion, but not between private funding and positive socio‐evaluative findings. We also find a positive correlation between funding from religious organizations and research on religion in the United States and a weak, but negative, correlation between funding from religious organizations and research on non‐Christian religious traditions. We do not find a relationship between funding and causal order. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 432-449, September 2018.
    August 10, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12536   open full text
  • Countermovement Mobilization and State Raids on Minority Religious Communities.
    Stuart A. Wright, Susan J. Palmer.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 08, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract An ongoing study of government raids on minority religious communities in 19 Western‐style democracies over seven‐plus decades shows a dramatic increase in raids beginning in the 1990s. Two distinct and related patterns are found to explain this escalation in frequency. Both patterns involved countermovement mobilization by coalitions of oppositional groups that effectively framed new or nontraditional religious movements (NRMs) as threats to their own members and the larger society, thereby prompting state actions of social control. The patterns are distinguished by a new relationship of countermovement actors to the state. In one pattern, we found the development of a transnational network forging a common collective action frame, movement ideology, and organizational strategy. Seizing political opportunities in the wake of increasing concerns regarding child endangerment, countermovement actors targeted NRMs as harbingers of child abuse and pressed authorities to take action. In the second pattern, we found a concentration of raids in one country (France). Here, the oppositional networks were not simply third‐party interest groups but were fully integrated into the state apparatus, hence awarded power and given extraordinary influence. Consequently, state raids increased exponentially. The study also provides five years of new data from a previous report examining their impact on the larger set of findings and identifying new trends. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 616-633, September 2018.
    August 08, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12541   open full text
  • Local Religious Subcultures and Generalized Social Trust in the United States.
    Joey Marshall, Daniel V. A. Olson.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 06, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Using multilevel analyses of 21,193 General Social Survey respondents nested within 256 metropolitan areas and counties, we find that individuals’ willingness to trust others is strongly related to the denominational make‐up of geographic areas. The percent of evangelical Protestants in the population negatively predicts individual‐level generalized trust, while percent mainline Protestant and percent Catholic positively predict trust. The effect sizes of these results are large and robust to statistical controls, and they hold even among nonmembers of the religious groups; for instance, “percent evangelical” predicts lower trust even among nonevangelicals. Black Protestant population share initially appears to predict lower trust, but the association disappears after adjusting for racial residential segregation. Following a longstanding theoretical tradition in the sociology of religion, we argue that the religious characteristics of places—not just individuals—shape local subcultures in ways that affect a broad range of behaviors, attitudes, and values such as generalized trust. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 473-494, September 2018.
    August 06, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12539   open full text
  • Identity Development and Integration of Religious Identities in Gender and Sexual Minority Emerging Adults.
    Barrett Scroggs, Jason M. Miller, M. Hunter Stanfield.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 06, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Gender and sexual minority (GSM) individuals have been neglected in emerging adulthood research. Further research is needed to understand the seemingly contradictory religious and GSM identities of emerging adults. This study looks at the associations of identity development and identity integration with religious and GSM group activities and well‐being. Identity visibility (outness) is associated with increases in GSM group activity and well‐being. Religious group activity is also associated with increases in well‐being. Religious group activity mediates the relationship between identity integration and well‐being. Implications for practitioners working with GSM individuals dealing with issues of identity integration are discussed. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 604-615, September 2018.
    August 06, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12538   open full text
  • Cultural Authority in Comparative Context: A Multilevel Analysis of Trust in Science and Religion.
    Timothy L. O'Brien, Shiri Noy.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 03, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Science and religion are among the most influential forces for organizing social life around the world, yet we know little about how national context shapes perceptions of them. Using data from the 2008 International Social Survey Program, we begin to fill this gap by investigating cross‐national differences in public attitudes about science, religion, and society. We find that exposure to science is associated with more trust in science relative to religion whereas religiosity is associated with less trust in science relative to religion. Moreover, these relationships are amplified in secular societies and in those where science is prioritized. We argue that secular and scientific societies provide a context in which personal characteristics are more influential in the formation of social attitudes. These results highlight the importance of macro‐level factors for shaping trust in science and religion and for understanding the sources of their influence in society more broadly. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 495-513, September 2018.
    August 03, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12537   open full text
  • Spirituality: What Does it Mean and to Whom?
    Brian Steensland, Xiaoyun Wang, Lauren Chism Schmidt.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 03, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract While there is increasing interest in the topic of spirituality, scholars have limited data on its meaning among ordinary Americans. Based on an open‐ended question in a new nationally representative survey, this article documents the elements that make up people's views of spirituality. We find that theism is the dominant focus of American spirituality, with a relatively small percentage of people offering exclusively immanent descriptions. Cognitive and relational orientations are more prominent than behavioral or ethical orientations. Using latent class analysis, we identify seven distinctive views of spirituality that vary considerably in their prevalence and social profiles. Binary logit regression shows that spiritual self‐identification, belief in God, and worship attendance are the religious factors most strongly associated with views of spirituality. Among sociodemographic predictors, significant associations with gender, race, education, and income are limited or absent. In contrast, the influences of age and political ideology are more substantial. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 450-472, September 2018.
    August 03, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12534   open full text
  • Spaces of the Religious Economy: Negotiating the Regulation of Religious Space in Singapore.
    Orlando Woods.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 01, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Over the past three decades, the theory of religious economy has been established, applied, debated, developed, and rejected. It has proven to be as divisive as any "general theory" of religion should be, and yet its core tenets continue to engage and unite scholars around the world. In response to broader shifts within the sociology of religion, this article reframes religious economy by advancing a spatial approach to its theorization. A spatial approach can help develop new perspectives on the regulation of religion, and the resistant agency of religious groups. With a focus on the "secular monopoly" of Singapore, it demonstrates how the restricted supply of land for religious purposes increases competition between religious groups. To overcome restrictions, religious groups pursue strategies of spatial and organizational boundary crossing. This has led to the closer regulation of space, and highlights the recursive interplay between the regulation and praxis of religion in Singapore. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 531-546, September 2018.
    August 01, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12531   open full text
  • It's a Total Way of Life? Catholic Priests, Women's Ordination, and Identity Work.
    Peter Francis Harvey.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 01, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Research has shown Catholic priests to be polarized on a few issues, including women's ordination. Explanations have been offered for why priests are initially polarized—particularly the influence of ordination cohort—but not for how attitudes are maintained over time. Using 31 in‐depth interviews with Catholic priests in the United Kingdom, I find that priests are indeed polarized into groups I call “Total Identity Priests” and “Plural Identity Priests.” Taking the example of women's ordination, I show that these two groups of priests maintain their anti‐ or pro‐women's ordination attitudes (respectively) via patterned, everyday identity work, in which they mobilize available cultural schemata. I highlight four areas in which their identity work differs: explicit identity talk, narratives of calling, clericalism and titles, and clothing. This identity work serves to summarize, communicate, and reinforce their personal identities, which in turn reinforce their existing attitudes towards women's ordination. - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 547-566, September 2018.
    August 01, 2018   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12530   open full text
  • Religious Identity, Expression, and Civility in Social Media: Results of Data Mining Latter‐Day Saint Twitter Accounts.
    Royce Kimmons, Kristin McGuire, McKell Stauffer, J. Evan Jones, Marie Gregson, Madison Austin.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 29, 2017
    This study explores religious self‐identification, religious expression, and civility among projected Latter‐Day Saint Twitter accounts (201,107 accounts and 1,542,229 tweets). Novel methods of data collection and analysis were utilized to test hypotheses related to religious identity and civility against social media data at a large scale. Results indicated that (1) projected LDS Twitter accounts tended to represent authentic (rather than anonymous or pseudonymous) identities; (2) local minority versus majority status did not influence users’ willingness to religiously self‐identify; (3) isolation stigma did not occur when users religiously self‐identified; (4) participants exhibited much lower degrees of incivility than was anticipated from previous studies; and (5) religious self‐identification was connected to improved civility. Results should be of interest to scholars of religion for better understanding participation patterns and religious identity among Latter‐Day Saints and for exploring how these results may transfer to other groups of religious people.
    September 29, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12358   open full text
  • Religion, Altruism, and Helping Strangers: A Multilevel Analysis of 126 Countries.
    Matthew R. Bennett, Christopher J. Einolf.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 22, 2017
    This article tests how religion relates to helping strangers, an important but rarely studied measure of social solidarity and informal social capital. It uses the Gallup World Poll, a survey with nationally representative samples of 179,961 respondents from 126 countries. It finds that religious people, members of minority religions, and people in religiously diverse countries were more likely to help a stranger. Individuals living in devout countries were more likely to help strangers even if they themselves were not religious. The results suggest that religion plays a particularly important role in promoting the prosocial norms and values that motivate helping strangers.
    August 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12328   open full text
  • How Many Congregations Are There? Updating a Survey‐Based Estimate.
    Simon G. Brauer.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 14, 2017
    Researchers have attempted to estimate the number of congregations in the United States using counts provided by denominations, existing media (newspapers, phone books, websites, etc.), and calculations using congregational surveys. Hadaway and Marler (2005) took the third approach, basing their estimate on the 1998 National Congregations Study (NCS), a representative sample of U.S. congregations, and select official denominational statistics. Since publishing their estimate of 331,000 congregations in 1998, two subsequent waves of the NCS have been conducted. Using the same approach, I estimate the number of congregations in 1998, 2006, and 2012. I conclude that congregations probably became more numerous, likely due to growth among nondenominational Protestants and the extraordinarily low death rate of congregations. But I also consider alternative interpretations of the data.
    August 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12330   open full text
  • States of Spiritual Awareness by Time, Activity, and Social Interaction.
    Jaime Kucinskas, Bradley R. E. Wright, D. Matthew Ray, John Ortberg.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 10, 2017
    We explore how people experience the sacred in their everyday lives using a recently developed research technique—smartphone‐based experience sampling method (S‐ESM). The primary goal of our experience‐driven approach is to explore the contours and variations of spiritual awareness within people's day‐to‐day lives. We seek to better understand when and where spiritual awareness is likely to arise, and the contexts in which it is rare. Our smartphone‐based data allow us to track the many contexts in which an awareness of the sacred occurs, as reported in real time during people's normal daily activities. We parse out how immediate contextual factors and how people's more habitual behaviors are related to their spiritual experiences. This illuminates a wide range of factors that influence spiritual experiences that have not received much scholarly attention, and enables us to connect cutting‐edge quantitative methods with qualitative scholarship on spirituality. We hope this will open the door to the development of new theories of situated spiritual experience.
    August 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12331   open full text
  • I Will Put My Law in Their Minds: Social Control and Cheating Behavior Among Catholics and Protestants.
    Alain Quiamzade, Nicolas Sommet, Javiera Burgos Laborde, Jean‐Paul L'Huillier, Luigi Guiso.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 10, 2017
    Catholics and Protestants differ in terms of social autonomy versus heteronomy. We propose that the regulation of behavior in accordance with social norms depends on the social control exercised by an authority for Catholics more than it does for Protestants. Two experiments measured cheating behavior (the transgression of a social norm) as a function of the religious group (Protestant vs. Catholic) and social control (with vs. without). Catholics were found to be more responsive to social control, that is, to cheat less when social control was salient, whereas Protestants' behavior did not depend on this dimension. In Study 2, intrinsic‐extrinsic religiousness was found to mediate this difference. Results are discussed in the context of the effects of public policies based on social control.
    August 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12337   open full text
  • Growing Suburbs, Relocating Churches: The Suburbanization of Protestant Churches in the Chicago Region, 1925–1990.
    Brian J. Miller.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 10, 2017
    This study examines the locations of Protestant churches in the Chicago region between 1925 and 1990 based on data from the Church Federation of Greater Chicago. The analysis adds two insights to existing explanations of white flight and the corresponding suburbanization of churches: suburbanization patterns were not the same across Protestant groups and churches moving to the suburbs were adding to churches already present in those communities. As the percentage of suburban Protestant churches in the Chicago region started increasing after 1925, the new suburban locations were influenced by settlement patterns in the Chicago region—first along railroad lines and then in between with new sites easier to access by automobile—in addition to racial changes in Chicago neighborhoods and the ethnic composition of denominations. Suggestions for further research include examining the suburbanization of religious groups in more metropolitan regions (particularly beyond the North), comparing the discussions about moving to the suburbs across denominations and congregations, and considering how religious congregations have helped shape suburban communities.
    August 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12336   open full text
  • Identity, Inequality, and Legitimacy: Religious Differences in Primary School Completion in Sub‐Saharan Africa.
    Nicolette D. Manglos‐Weber.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 10, 2017
    This study uses survey data from 17 countries in Sub‐Saharan Africa, along with country‐level indicators, to examine the relationship between religious identity and the odds of completing primary schooling, as a key aspect of socioeconomic inequality. The results reveal a significant and robust schooling disadvantage for Muslims and those of traditional African faiths both relative to Christians at the aggregate level as well as within 13 country samples. This effect is seen in both rural and urban areas and is slightly smaller among men versus women, though it is still large and significant. The effect is also larger in countries in West Africa, with greater Muslim populations, with cooperative church‐state relations, and with mandatory religious education in schools. I interpret these results to indicate greater obstacles to the establishment of the legitimacy of the formal school system among Muslim and traditionalist families and communities, as a still troublesome legacy of the historical links between Christian missionization and the colonial project.
    August 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12333   open full text
  • Secular Tolerance? Anti‐Muslim Sentiment in Western Europe.
    Egbert Ribberink, Peter Achterberg, Dick Houtman.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 10, 2017
    The literature about secularization proposes two distinct explanations of anti‐Muslim sentiment in secularized societies. The first theory understands it in terms of religious competition between Muslims and the remaining minority of orthodox Protestants; the second understands it as resulting from value conflicts between Muslims and the nonreligious majority. The two theories are tested by means of a multilevel analysis of the European Values Study 2008. Our findings indicate that, although more secularized countries are on average more tolerant towards Muslims and Islam, strongest anti‐Muslim attitudes are nonetheless found among the nonreligious in these countries.
    August 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12335   open full text
  • Emerging, Emergent, Emergence: Boundary Maintenance, Definition Construction, and Legitimation Strategies in the Establishment of a Post‐Evangelical Subculture.
    Travis Warren Cooper.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 02, 2017
    Extending social anthropologist Mary Douglas's theory of purity and danger, this article employs a form of textual and discourse analysis and draws on subcultural identity theory. The article argues that one central aspect of social formation occurs through definitional battles or arguments situating theological boundaries and setting the socioreligious parameters of an inchoate group. The Emerging Church Movement (ECM) offers a clear example of discursive scrimmaging. In the late 1990s and 2000s, insiders sought to legitimate the movement through a series of strategies. Published definitions and descriptions worked to establish the normative agenda of the movement and in applying methods of hyper‐specification and internal categorical nuance vied with one another over criteria lists and theological validity. Critical outsiders attempted to discredit the nascent ECM through an inverse set of gate‐keeping strategies. This article underscores the centrality of language, print text, and media in the production of new subcultural identities and suggests that the ECM's effective problematization by gatekeepers has marked the movement as dangerous to evangelicalism's traditional boundaries, thus compelling the emergence, via textual discourse, of a quasi‐ or post‐evangelical identity.
    August 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12329   open full text
  • Distinctiveness Reconsidered: Religiosity, Structural Location, and Understandings of Racial Inequality.
    Jacqui Frost, Penny Edgell.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 02, 2017
    Are conservative Protestants distinct in their support for individualistic explanations of racial inequality in America? Past research has generated contradictory findings on this question, along with debates about the best measure of evangelicalism and the factors that moderate religious influences on racial attitudes. Using data from the nationally representative Boundaries in the American Mosaic Project (2014), we examine how structural location interacts with religious commitment to influence understandings of and preferred solutions to African‐American disadvantage. We show that religious beliefs, involvement, and centrality influence adherents differently, depending on their age, gender, education, income, and race. We find that measures do matter, and that denominational affiliation is less predictive than the orthodoxy and centrality of religious belief. We also find that straightforward talk about distinctiveness can mask the strong and pervasive effects of structural location on racial attitudes. We call for more research that makes the interaction between religiosity and structural location a central focus of analysis.
    August 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12334   open full text
  • Silent Disagreement: Microinteractional Solutions to Moral Dissent Among Catholic Converts.
    Rachel Ellis.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. July 26, 2017
    How do converts manage their disagreements with religious teachings? Previous literature on religious dissent has largely focused on church members advocating change or apostatizing, solutions largely unavailable to initiates. Based on six months of ethnographic observations in a Catholic conversion class and 21 in‐depth interviews with converts, sponsors, and teachers, I demonstrate how microinteractional norms encourage an atmosphere of silence around disagreement. I then show how initiates explain this conflict avoidant response by justifying their doubt, engaging in a process of hierarchical deference, in which initiates call upon the top‐down structure of the Catholic Church to defer control upward, and faulting human imperfection rather than the institution itself. While “culture wars” debates of the past two decades have investigated a purported moral polarization of the American public, this study contributes to a growing literature on how the moderate majority negotiates disagreements between their beliefs and religious teachings.
    July 26, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12332   open full text
  • The Politics of Religious Heritage: Framing Claims to Religion as Culture in Spain.
    Avi Astor, Marian Burchardt, Mar Griera.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. May 12, 2017
    This article contributes to sociological theorizations of religion as heritage through analyzing the politics of religious heritage in Spain since its transition to democracy during the late 1970s. Our analysis is organized around three historical sequences of critical importance for understanding the political and legal significance of discourses that frame religion as cultural heritage in Spain: (1) negotiations that took place during Spain's democratic transition between 1977 and 1980; (2) discussions that surfaced in the context of the state's decision to recognize Islam, Protestantism, and Judaism in 1992; and (3) more recent debates regarding the incorporation of religious minorities in the context of increasing religious diversity, especially concerning places of worship. We show how framing “religion” using the language of cultural heritage has provided religious actors with a means of defending the connection between religion and national identity—and of protecting the privileges of majoritarian religious institutions without violating core tenets of secularism or pluralism. This scenario has created space for certain religious minorities to claim a place within Spain's evolving socioreligious landscape by invoking alternative heritages from Spain's multicultural past.
    May 12, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12321   open full text
  • The Religious and Political Origins of Evangelical Protestants’ Opposition to Environmental Spending.
    Philip Schwadel, Erik Johnson.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. May 04, 2017
    Evangelical Protestants are less likely than most other Americans to support environmental policies and spending to protect the natural environment. We use almost three decades of repeated cross‐sectional data to examine the factors that promote evangelicals’ opposition to environmental spending. Mediation models with bootstrapped standard errors show that affiliation with the Republican Party, biblical literalism, and religious service attendance mediate differences in support for environmental spending between evangelical Protestants and other Americans. The importance of these mediating variables, however, varies over time and by the group evangelicals are being compared to. Differences in support for environmental spending between evangelical and mainline Protestants, for example, are primarily due to views of the Bible, but not at all to Republican identification. The results shed light on the causal effects of religion on views of the environment, temporal changes in the social and political implications of religiosity, the persistence of divisive issues that support the continued existence of culture wars, and the future of government spending on environmental problems in a social context where scientific evidence is filtered through political and religious ideology.
    May 04, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12322   open full text
  • Becoming a Religious None: Irreligious Socialization and Disaffiliation.
    Joel Thiessen, Sarah Wilkins‐Laflamme.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. May 04, 2017
    The rise in the numbers of religious “nones” is an almost universal phenomenon across the Western world. The purpose of this study is to explore the extent to which religious nones are socialized to adopt a “no religion” position as children, as compared with disaffiliating during their teen or adult years. Related, among those religious nones who come from a religious background, we examine the timing and depth of a person's disaffiliation. This study sheds light on these issues by combining a quantitative analysis of religious nones samples in Alberta, Canada, America, and other international contexts with a qualitative analysis of 30 semistructured interviews with religious nones. Building on a stage of decline framework, we argue that while disaffiliation has been a lead catalyst for the growth among the religious none population—and we offer several observations of what fuels disaffiliation—moving forward we can and should expect irreligious socialization to gradually take the lead in explaining rising religious none figures.
    May 04, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12319   open full text
  • Religious Representation and Animal Welfare in the U.S. Senate.
    Elizabeth A. Oldmixon.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 19, 2017
    Does religion affect legislative behavior among U.S. senators? Scholars have established this relationship on issues closely associated with evangelical Christianity, but it is unclear how far the relationship extends. Focusing on animal welfare, this article tests the theory of personal representation and provides an expansion of the religion and legislative behavior literature. Humane Society scores (2005–2014) are regressed on senator religion, party, sex, and several constituency factors. The analysis demonstrates that religion shapes animal welfare activity. Relative to mainline Protestant senators, Mormon senators are less supportive of animal welfare, while Catholics, Jews, and black Protestants are more supportive. Some of this is due to senator religion, but it is also a reflection of state‐level factors, including state ideology and religious constituencies.
    April 19, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12317   open full text
  • “A Part of Who I Am”: Material Objects as “Plot Devices” in the Formation of Religious Selves.
    Daniel Winchester.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 19, 2017
    What role do material objects play in the formation of religious subjects? Drawing from an ethnographic investigation of the evolving relationships between a group of Eastern Orthodox converts and their religious icons, this article develops a theoretical approach to this question that conceptualizes material artifacts as “plot devices” in the formation of religious identity narratives. Integrating insights from studies of material religious culture with narrative theories of identity, this article argues that religious artifacts become significant to religious identity construction to the extent they act as resources for the configuration of a narrative structure in which transcendent or sacred others play a part. As the empirical details of this study demonstrate, attending to how religious objects’ symbolic meanings (i.e., who or what they represent) are mediated by their unique material characteristics (how they make meanings physically present to social actors in embodied social interaction) is of vital importance for explaining the significant role material artifacts play in the religious emplotment of action and experience.
    April 19, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12318   open full text
  • Religious Ambivalence, Liminality, and the Increase of No Religious Preference in the United States, 2006–2014.
    Michael Hout.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 10, 2017
    Americans identified less and less with organized religion over the past two decades. Yet apparently, many people who no longer identify with a religion are not consistently nonreligious. Reinterviews reveal that many people who express no religious preference in one survey name a religion when asked the same question in a subsequent interview. Past research called this phenomenon a “liminal” status. This article improves estimates of liminality by using three interviews and a better statistical model. About 20 percent of Americans were liminal in recent years, 10 percent were consistently nonreligious, and 70 percent were consistently religious. Falling religious identification in cross‐sectional data over the last three decades reflects slow change in religious identity, but some of the rise of the nones is due to more liminals saying they have no religion. Liminals appear equally among people raised conservative Protestant, mainline Protestant, or Catholic.
    April 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12314   open full text
  • The Effects of Protestant Theological Conservatism and Trust on Environmental Cooperation.
    Kyle Irwin, Brandon C. Martinez.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 06, 2017
    Recent studies indicate that Protestant theological conservatism is associated with lower levels of generalized trust. In this article, we ask: What are the implications of theological conservatives’ lower trust levels? Specifically, does their lower trust impact environmental cooperation? Past research finds that trust promotes cooperation, and we theorize that because theological conservatism undermines trust, it should negatively impact cooperation directly. Thus, we suggest an interaction between trust and theological conservatism on cooperation. We test the arguments in the context of environmental social dilemmas, including decisions about recycling, water and energy consumption, and individuals’ willingness to protect the environment, using data from the 2010 General Social Survey. Our results support the theory that trust levels among Protestant theological conservatism more acutely undermine environmental cooperation, and we further discuss the implications of these findings.
    April 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12312   open full text
  • Survey Experiments on Candidate Religiosity, Political Attitudes, and Vote Choice.
    Jeremiah J. Castle, Geoffrey C. Layman, David E. Campbell, John C. Green.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 06, 2017
    Because identification with and affect toward social groups is a primary heuristic for citizens, the social group profiles of candidates are important for electoral behavior. We focus on an increasingly important element of candidates’ social characteristics: their levels of religiosity and secularism. We argue that as religious groups and identities become structured less by what religion they are and more by how religious they are (or are not), candidate religiosity and secularism should condition the impact of political orientations such as partisanship and cultural policy attitudes on vote choice. Highly religious candidates should attract more support from Republicans and from cultural conservatives, while overtly secular candidates should appeal more to Democrats and cultural liberals. Using a survey experiment in which respondents evaluate a state legislative candidate with varying levels of religiosity and secularism, we find strong support for our argument.
    April 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12311   open full text
  • Religion as Cultural Models: Developing an Emic Measure of Religiosity.
    H. J. François Dengah.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 06, 2017
    Despite a century's worth of work, lacunae remain in our understanding of the religion‐health relationship. Scholars in this field have called for increasingly sophisticated conceptualizations of religiosity that refine its connection to well‐being, accounting for both positive and negative associations, while being sensitive to the cultural variations in the experience of religion. This article argues that cognitive anthropological methods provide a novel approach to these issues by conceptualizing aspects of religion as culturally shared “styles of life.” Specifically, the combined approaches of cultural consensus and cultural consonance provide an emically valid measure of religiosity that is then linked to health through the psychosocial stress paradigm. Utilizing research among Brazilian Pentecostals within the state of São Paulo, this intrareligious study evaluates the predictive power of religious cultural consonance relative to widely used and established religiosity scales. Religious consonance is found to have a stronger correlation with psychological well‐being than comparable measures, suggesting that existing standardized measures miss important dimensions of the religion‐health relationship. As such, this article outlines an important area of collaboration between anthropologists and other religion‐health researchers.
    April 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12313   open full text
  • God Versus Party: Competing Effects on Attitudes Concerning Criminal Punishment, National Security, and Military Service.
    Robert A. Thomson, Paul Froese.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. February 14, 2017
    We explore how images of God interact with political party to predict attitudes concerning the appropriate role of government in both criminal punishment and national security. Using the second wave of the Baylor Religion Survey (2007), we analyze the extent to which beliefs regarding God's moral judgment moderate the influence of party affiliation on opinions about the death penalty, fighting terrorism, punishing criminals, serving in the military, and U.S. involvement in the Iraq War. Specifically, we find that Democrats who believe in a judgmental God tend to support more conservative policies. In fact, attitudes converge such that the effects of party membership are erased if rival partisans both believe in a judgmental moral authority.
    February 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12293   open full text
  • For Better or for Worse? Gender Ideology, Religious Commitment, and Relationship Quality.
    Samuel L. Perry, Andrew L. Whitehead.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. February 14, 2017
    Few studies have considered how religion moderates the ways gender ideology influences heterosexual relationship outcomes. Drawing on a national random sample of American adults who report being married or living as married, we focus on the extent to which religious commitment moderates the link between gender ideology and reported relationship satisfaction, and whether this moderating effect varies across gender. We find that gender traditionalism is negatively associated with relationship satisfaction; however, interaction effects reveal that religious commitment moderates the effects of gender ideology such that the negative effects of gender traditionalism on relationship satisfaction only apply to people who are less religious. Gender traditionalism, by contrast, is not negatively related to relationship satisfaction for the highly religious. Splitting the sample by gender reveals that this moderating relationship is significant for women only. Thus, while gender traditionalism is negatively related to relationship satisfaction in the main, this effect is contingent on both gender and religious commitment. Religious commitment appears to mitigate negative effects of gender traditionalism on relationship outcomes, particularly for American women.
    February 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12308   open full text
  • The Influence of Religion on Interstate Armed Conflict: Government Religious Preference and First Use of Force, 1946–2002.
    Davis Brown.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. February 14, 2017
    Effects of religious norms on interstate armed conflict are understudied compared to such effects on intrastate conflict. Yet religion exerts no less influence on states’ preferences and outcome of interstate interaction than other factors. Religion fosters emotion, in turn generating cognitive and motivational biases in states’ leaders. Religion acts as a political ideology that inculcates worldviews and programs political agendas. Religion accomplishes these things through scripture, clergy, and historical narrative. Through these media, religion instills standards of behavior, including for resort to (political) violence. Thus, religions influence states’ propensities to initiate interstate armed conflicts, even when belligerents’ goals are not necessarily sacralized. However, different norms are ingrained in different religions, and median war ethics of different religions range from permissive to restrictive. Therefore, over time and space, different religions are expected to have different effects on initiation of interstate armed conflicts. Regressing that outcome against the newly introduced Government Religious Preference (GRP) scores for Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism reveals that such is the case; different religions are differently associated with war and peace.
    February 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12292   open full text
  • Secularization and the Wider Gap in Values and Personal Religiosity Between the Religious and Nonreligious.
    Sarah Wilkins‐Laflamme.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. February 09, 2017
    Increasing proportions of religious nonaffiliation characterize most Western societies, although the periods over which these increases have occurred and the speed in which they happen do vary. Consequently, some nations now have larger unaffiliated groups and others much smaller ones. What is less well known is if, in areas where unaffiliated groups are larger, the religious “nones” have become more distinct from the actively religious in their attitudes and behavior. In contexts of advanced secularization, to what extent is the gap greater between the actively religious and the nonreligious when it comes to their views on family life and reproduction, for example? In regards to their levels of religiosity and spirituality in their private lives? Are the unaffiliated more liberal in their attitudes and less religious in their private life? This article sheds light on these questions by analyzing data from over 200 North American, European, and Oceanic country subregions included in the 2008 International Social Survey Programme. With hierarchical linear models, I find that, in areas where the unaffiliated form a larger proportion of the population, the differences between the actively religious and the unaffiliated in family values and personal religiosity tend to be greater.
    February 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12307   open full text
  • Religious Quest Orientation and Anti‐Gay Sentiment: Nuancing the Relationship Between Religiosity and Negative Attitudes Toward Homosexuality Among Young Muslims and Christians in Flanders.
    Filip Droogenbroeck, Bram Spruyt, Jessy Siongers, Gil Keppens.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. February 02, 2017
    Public opinion research has repeatedly shown that religious people generally report more prejudice against homosexuality. However, previous research exploring the general mechanisms that underpin this relationship mostly relied on Christian samples in North America. Studies outside North America are few in number and limited in the forms of religiosity they address. Of all indicators that have been studied so far, a religious quest orientation was found to be the only one negatively related to anti‐gay sentiments. This leaves open the question whether the mechanisms for different forms of religiosity can also be found outside North America. Against that background this research note assesses how religious quest orientation, self‐rated religiosity, religious behavior, and authoritarianism are related to prejudice against homosexuality among Christian and Muslim youth aged 14–23 in Flanders (N = 2,834). This study is the first that investigates the relationship between religious quest orientation and anti‐gay sentiments among Muslims. For both Christians and Muslims, we found that even taking into account a wide range of social background and religious characteristics, having a religious quest orientation is related to less prejudice toward homosexuality.
    February 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12303   open full text
  • Religion‐Related Hate Crimes: Data, Trends, and Limitations.
    Christopher P. Scheitle, Michelle Hansmann.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. February 02, 2017
    Both police report and victim survey data estimate that between 10 and 20 percent of all hate crimes are motivated by a religion bias. Yet, the volume of research on religion‐related hate crimes pales in comparison to research examining race‐based or sexuality‐based hate crimes. We examine two data sources, the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), to assess trends and patterns in hate crimes involving religion. The UCR, which is based on police reports, suggests a downward trend in the number of religion‐related hate crimes that mirrors the overall downward trend for all hate crimes. The NCVS, which is based on victim reports, suggests that religion‐related hate crimes have been relatively stable in both number and as a proportion of all hate crimes. We conclude by suggesting potential directions for future research and data collection.
    February 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12299   open full text
  • “Baba Has Come to Civilize Us”: Developmental Idealism and Framing the Strict Demands of the Brahma Kumaris.
    Emily McKendry‐Smith.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. February 01, 2017
    This article extends and complicates the theory that “strict churches are strong” based on the strict demands that were followed and not followed by the Brahma Kumaris in Nepal. To be successful, strict religious groups must not only be strict, but also frame their strictness in ways that resonate with the everyday experiences and commonly held beliefs of their members. Nepali women involved with the Brahma Kumaris tend to accept and follow the group's demands when those demands have been framed as modern, and that framing is resonant with the prevailing definitions of modernity offered by Western development agencies. When the modern framing is not resonant, as with the case of framing celibacy as “spiritual birth control,” the strict demand is not followed, and the frame itself is rejected in favor of the practice being defined in different terms.
    February 01, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12297   open full text
  • Sexuality and Religious Commitment Revisited: Exploring the Religious Commitments of Sexual Minorities, 1991–2014.
    Darren E. Sherkat.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. February 01, 2017
    Research on the religious commitments of sexual minorities has burgeoned over the last two decades, yet most studies come from small convenience samples of people actively engaged in religious groups. This study provides an empirical examination of the religiosity of people who report having had same‐sex relations in the last five years using respondents from the General Social Survey (1991–2014) and provides a comparison to respondents from 2008 to 2014 who report their sexual identification as bisexual, gay, or lesbian. All comparisons are made by gender, and compared with male and female heterosexuals. The relationship between behavioral sexuality and religiosity is examined across time periods, distinguishing respondents from 1991 to 2002 from respondents interviewed in 2004–2014. Religious factors examined include religious identification, religious participation, prayer frequency, beliefs about the Bible, beliefs about God, and belief in an afterlife. Multivariate models are estimated to examine whether sociodemographic factors contribute to differences across the gender/sexuality groups.
    February 01, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12300   open full text
  • “It Just Always Seemed Like it Wasn't a Big Deal, Yet I Know for Some People They Really Struggle with It”: LGBT Religious Identities in Context.
    Todd Nicholas Fuist.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 31, 2017
    Scholarly examinations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) religious identities have typically focused on “identity reconciliation,” which assumes that being both LGBT and religious is a “contradiction,” and posits a “coherent” identity as a desired end goal. The present research draws on a qualitative study of three LGBT‐identified congregations to demonstrate that there are a variety of ways in which LGBT religious people approach the connection between their LGBT identity and their religion. While some participants of the study did feel a need to reconcile these aspects of their self, others report never feeling a strong conflict between their LGBT identity and faith. The differences in these understandings of LGBT identity emerge out of the sociotemporal contexts the interviewees exist in, suggesting that different contexts provide divergent resources for identity performances. Through these findings, I contribute to our understanding of the intersection of religious agency, religious identities, and religion as a quality of social spaces.
    January 31, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12291   open full text
  • Wage Differentials in the United States: Does Religious Participation Matter?
    Sedefka V. Beck.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 31, 2017
    Using data on non‐Hispanics from the 2005 Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), this article examines the within‐religion association between religious participation and wages for mainline Protestants, conservative Protestants, and Catholics, the three major religious groups in the United States. While previous studies have examined this relationship for women only and using ordinary least squares (OLS), this article further analyzes gender differences and differences along the wage distribution using a quantile regression (QR) approach. The results indicate that high participation in religious services is associated with lower wages among mainline Protestant women and men, and among Catholic men. Among Catholic women, those who are not participating in religious activities earn higher wages relative to those who participate on a weekly basis. Furthermore, this advantage is more pronounced at high wages, as the QR estimates show. These results suggest the importance of defining religious participation in a manner that allows the detection of nonlinear effects. In addition, the findings speak to the importance of religion in the lives of individuals and may benefit policies dealing with male‐female wage differentials.
    January 31, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12286   open full text
  • Religion, Secular Humanism, and Atheism: Multi‐Institutional Politics and the USAFA Cadets’ Freethinkers Group.
    Mary Ellen Konieczny, Megan C. Rogers.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 31, 2017
    The recent emergence of atheist movements despite marginalization and distrust by a majority of Americans has been explained as a successful deployment of identity politics, but scholars have less often considered the importance of how identity and power intersect with political opportunity occurring within organizational and religious fields. Analyzing the case of the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) Cadet Freethinkers Group, we demonstrate that although it encountered opportunity in the organizational shock of the 2004 USAFA proselytism controversy, this opportunity was not a blank check, but instead afforded some possibilities for action and not others. Freethinkers’ actions to secure official recognition were limited by (1) their low placement in the chain of command and (2) a collective identity inclusive of secular humanism and atheism, which did not produce enough unity to take collective actions risking punishment, and created ambiguity vis‐à‐vis religion that allowed USAFA administrators to accept or deny their institutional membership claims through appeal, respectively, to functional or substantive definitions of religion.
    January 31, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12296   open full text
  • Does Religious Belief Matter for Grief and Death Anxiety? Experimental Philosophy Meets Psychology of Religion.
    David B. Feldman, Ian C. Fischer, Robert A. Gressis.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 27, 2017
    It is commonly reasoned that religious belief moderates death anxiety and aids in coping with loss. However, a philosophical perspective known as meta‐atheism includes the claim that avowed religious believers grieve deaths and experience death anxiety as intensely as avowed atheists. Thus, we report a study comparing religious believers and nonbelievers on measures of death anxiety and grief. We further investigated the relationships between certain religious beliefs (views of God, afterlife belief, religious orientation) and death anxiety, as well as both painful grief reactions and grief‐related growth. We surveyed 101 participants across the United States, ranging in age (19 to 57), education, and ethnicity. Participants avowing some form of religious belief, in comparison to those not, did not demonstrate lower levels of death anxiety. They did, however, display higher levels of a certain type of death acceptance. Additionally, those professing belief reported less grief and greater growth in response to loss. Greater afterlife belief was not associated with less grief; however, it was associated with both greater grief‐related growth and lower death anxiety.
    January 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12288   open full text
  • Urban American Indian Youth Spirituality and Religion: A Latent Class Analysis.
    Stephen S. Kulis, Monica Tsethlikai.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 27, 2017
    This article explores the interconnected spiritual, religious, and cultural worlds of the majority of American Indian (AI) youth who live in urban areas: their patterns of involvement in religion and Native spirituality and associated well‐being. Latent class analysis of data from 205 AI middle school students identified five distinctive classes using survey measures of religious affiliation, attendance at services, adherence to Christian and traditional spiritual beliefs, Native spirituality, and Native cultural practices. Two classes were Christian groups: one attending Christian churches and following Christian beliefs but uninvolved with Native beliefs, spirituality, or cultural practices; and a nominal Christian group affiliated with but not attending church and unattached to belief systems. Two groups followed Native beliefs and spiritual practices, one affiliated with the Native American Church and another unaffiliated with any church. The fifth, nonreligious group, had no religious affiliation, followed neither Christian nor traditional beliefs, and was uninvolved in Native spirituality and cultural practices. The two groups embracing AI spirituality reported better academic performance, more reservation contact, higher AI enculturation, and stronger bicultural orientations.
    January 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12298   open full text
  • Demonic Influence: The Negative Mental Health Effects of Belief in Demons.
    Fanhao Nie, Daniel V. A. Olson.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 27, 2017
    Many religious traditions include a belief in the reality of demonic beings and evil powers. Previous research demonstrates that comforting beliefs, such as believing in an afterlife, can benefit mental health, but less is known about the potentially negative mental health effects of belief in evil supernatural powers. In cross‐sectional analyses, we find that among young adults, believing in demons is one of the strongest (negative) predictors of mental health. More importantly, using three waves of the National Study of Youth and Religion and a cross‐lagged structural equation model, we find that belief in demons can lead to lowered mental health in later waves but low mental health does not lead to greater belief in demons. In fact, when predicting changes in mental health from wave 2 to wave 3 of the study, the negative effect size of belief in demons on mental health is larger in magnitude than all other religion‐related predictors.
    January 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12287   open full text
  • “I Went Through it so You Don't Have To”: Faith‐Based Community Organizing for the Formerly Incarcerated.
    Edward Orozco Flores, Jennifer Elena Cossyleon.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 23, 2017
    This article examines how civil religion reworks state/citizen relations among the formerly incarcerated. Participant observation and interviews were collected at two sites: FORCE (Fighting to Overcome Records and Create Equality), a civic group of formerly incarcerated persons and former gang members, and Community Renewal Society, a larger, interfaith civic group that provided institutional backing for FORCE. Data collection occurred over 18 months, as the two groups utilized faith‐based community organizing to advance legislative reform (Illinois House Bill 5723/3061) expanding the sealing of criminal records. Findings suggest that faith‐based community organizing, together with formerly incarcerated persons’ use of “redemption scripts,” can facilitate empowering social integration. Whereas research on religion in the postincarceration experience has focused on rehabilitation and reentry programming, our findings suggest that civil religion can facilitate empowering social integration. Civil religion enables collective and political action by de‐privatizing personal narratives.
    January 23, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12294   open full text
  • The Dynamics of Religious Practice in Spain from the Mid‐19th Century to 2010.
    Maurizio Rossi, Ettore Scappini.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 23, 2017
    Like other Western countries, Spain is rapidly becoming more secularized. While there is almost unanimous agreement that this is happening, significant discord exists about the phases of the process and the speed of its development. This is mostly due to the use of partial and sometimes unreliable data. The aim of this study is to remedy these uncertainties. Our work is based on the data provided by time‐use surveys conducted in 2003 and 2010. Using some basic provisional but reasonable assumptions, we demonstrate that it is possible to identify a plausible dynamic of secularization in Spain starting in the second half of the 19th century. We also highlight the fact that the different indicators feature some significant time lags. Indeed, the dating of the start of the secularization process varies depending on whether reference is made to data on birth cohorts, the overall population, or the “visibility” of the phenomenon.
    January 23, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12280   open full text
  • Bridging Science and Religion: How Health‐Care Workers as Storytellers Construct Spiritual Meanings.
    Don Grant, Jeff Sallaz, Cindy Cain.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 09, 2017
    Contrary to the notion that medical science has supplanted religious understandings of human suffering, recent research suggests that health‐care workers like nurses can still portray their confrontations with illness and death in spiritual terms through storytelling. However, scholars have yet to systematically analyze the rhetorical devices used to construct spiritual meanings. Drawing on a symbolic interactionist perspective, we theorize that front‐line health professionals can deploy various rhetorical devices to infuse their workplace interactions with a spiritual significance. We also propose novel fuzzy set analysis techniques for determining which configurations of devices are most important in developing spiritual meanings. This approach was illustrated by examining 173 stories elicited from nurses at a nonsectarian, teaching hospital about encounters at work that significantly impacted their understanding of spirituality. Consistent with our expectations, the way in which nurses tell stories about their experiences not only shapes whether they attach spiritual significance to them, but whether they perceive spirituality and medicine to be compatible. We discuss the implications of our findings for future research on lived religion, conflicting identities, and institutional boundaries.
    January 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12285   open full text
  • Avoidance Behavior Following Terror Event Exposure: Effects of Perceived Life Threat and Jewish Religious Coping.
    Gil Zukerman, Liat Korn, Ephraim Shapiro, Leah Fostick.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 06, 2017
    The current research was designed to examine associations of perceived life threat (PLT) and religious coping with the development of avoidance behavior following terror event exposure. Based upon the terror management theory (TMT), we hypothesized that religious coping, through its effect on religious beliefs as a meaning system, would moderate the impact of threat, as expressed in PLT, on an individual's reaction to terror event exposure, as manifested in avoidance behavior. Participants were 591 Israeli Jewish students who were vicariously or directly exposed to a terror event in the past. We report a significant interaction between PLT and negative religious coping. PLT was positively associated with avoidance behavior but this relationship was more profound among persons who reported high negative religious coping. Secular students reported higher rates of avoidance behavior and negative religious coping and were more likely than religious students to report intrapersonal religious conflict. Our findings suggest that terror event exposure is associated with an elevated sense of threat, which is, at least in part, associated with a weakening of prior religious beliefs.
    January 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12283   open full text
  • Anxious Attachment to God, Spiritual Support, and Obesity: Findings from a Recent Nationwide Survey.
    Neal Krause, R. David Hayward.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 06, 2017
    Some researchers report that people who are more deeply involved in religion may be more obese, but other investigators have been unable to replicate these findings. The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between religious life and obesity with data from a recent nationwide survey, the Landmark Spirituality and Health Survey (N = 1,497). The core measure of religion is an anxious or insecure attachment to God. It is hypothesized that study participants with a more anxious attachment to God are more likely to be obese. However, it is further proposed that this relationship will only hold for study participants who receive little spiritual or emotional support from fellow church members. Spiritual support is assistance that is provided with the explicit purpose of bolstering the religious beliefs and behaviors of the recipient. The findings reveal that having an anxious attachment to God is associated with a greater risk of being obese, but this relationship becomes progressively weaker as the level of spiritual and emotional support increases.
    January 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12284   open full text
  • Awash in a Sea of Faith and Firearms: Rediscovering the Connection Between Religion and Gun Ownership in America.
    David Yamane.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 06, 2017
    The United States is awash in a sea of both faith and firearms. Although sociologists and criminologists have been trying to understand the predictors of gun ownership in the United States since the 1970s, it has been over two decades since social scientists of religion have been part of this important conversation. Consequently, religion is nothing more than a control variable in most studies of gun ownership. Even then, scholars have rarely gone beyond a basic measure of religious affiliation in which Protestant = 1 (else = 0). This article therefore seeks to bring social scientists studying religion back into the conversation about gun ownership in America and to move the discussion forward incrementally. It does so in three ways. First, it employs a more sophisticated measure of religious affiliation than has been used to study gun ownership in the past. Second, it measures religiosity beyond simply religious affiliation. Third, it recognizes and seeks to specify some of the various ways in which the relationship between religion and gun ownership may be mediated by other religiously influenced sociopolitical orientations. Using data from the 2006–2014 General Social Survey, hierarchical binary logistic regression models show significant effects of evangelical Protestant affiliation, theological conservatism, and religious involvement on personal handgun ownership.
    January 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12282   open full text
  • Trans‐Congregational Triadic Closure: Churchgoers’ Networks Within and Beyond the Pews.
    Markus H. Schafer, Laura Upenieks.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 06, 2017
    Triadic closure is the common tendency for connections to emerge between people's social network ties. This phenomenon has clear implications for congregational networks and may underlie many of the social benefits associated with church involvement. Less documented in the sociology of religion, however, is the occurrence of triadic closure involving congregational and noncongregational relationships within people's close personal networks. To conceptualize this boundary‐spanning network overlap, we elaborate the concept of trans‐congregational triadic closure (TCTC). Using data from the Portraits of American Life Survey—a project that examines both general and congregation‐specific networks of U.S. adults—we consider how religious tradition, macro‐level context, and individual factors predict the occurrence of TCTC in churchgoers’ networks. Findings suggest pronounced differences between evangelicals and mainline Protestants, a considerably lower likelihood of TCTC in densely populated areas, and higher likelihoods of TCTC corresponding with long durations of congregational involvement. We conclude by noting some of the implications of TCTC for the lives of individual believers and for religious organizations, and suggest ways that this concept could elucidate further aspects of contemporary religious life.
    January 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12281   open full text
  • Gendered God Imagery and Attitudes Toward Mothers’ Labor Force Participation: Examining the Transposable Character of Religious Schemas.
    Sarah Shah, John P. Bartkowski, Xiaohe Xu.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 06, 2017
    God imagery has been shown to have a profound influence on a diverse array of attitudes and behaviors. Research has also underscored the religious antecedents of traditionalist gender ideologies. This study integrates these parallel literatures by examining the degree to which gendered God imagery is a transposable schema that is associated with attitudes toward mothers’ paid labor force participation. We hypothesize that otherworldly schemas predicated on gender difference—namely, paternal and maternal images of God—have this‐worldly consequences by reinforcing opposition to mothers’ workforce participation. Analyses of General Social Survey data reveal strong support for this hypothesis. The evidence also demonstrates that paternal God images produce particularly robust and persistent opposition to mothers’ labor force participation net of other factors. Additional hypotheses about the interaction effects exhibited by gendered God imagery, prayer, and worship service attendance are modestly supported. We conclude by discussing our study's implications and outlining directions for future research.
    January 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12279   open full text
  • Is This Relevant? Physician Perceptions, Clinical Relevance, and Religious Content in Clinical Interactions.
    Aaron B. Franzen.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 06, 2017
    Despite wide support among physicians for practicing patient‐centered care, clinical interactions are primarily driven by physicians’ perception of relevance. While some will perceive a connection between religion and patient health, this relevance will be less apparent for others. I argue that physician responses when religious/spiritual topics come up during clinical interactions will depend on their own religious/spiritual background. The more central religion is for the physician, the greater his or her perception of religion's impact on health outcomes and his or her inclusion of religion/spirituality within clinical interactions. Using a nationally representative sample of physicians in the United States and mediated path models, I estimate models for five different physician actions to evaluate these relationships. I find that a physician's religious background is strongly associated with whether or not he or she thinks religion impacts health outcomes, which is strongly predictive of inclusion. I also find that not all of the association between inclusion and physicians’ religious background is mediated by thinking religion impacts health outcomes. Issues of religion's relevance for medicine are important to the degree that religious beliefs are an important dimension of patients’ lives.
    January 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12289   open full text
  • Update: Singles in Late‐Modern Conservative Religions.
    Ari Engelberg.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. January 06, 2017
    This article reviews the state of the research on religious singles, claiming that it is an understudied field. In late modernity, the age of marriage has risen. The importance of family for religious observance and the “family values” ideology adopted by conservative religions pose obstacles for singles who wish to remain observant, and can lead to their marginalization. I review the literature on singles and identify common patterns informed by my own research on religious Zionist singles. I argue that discourse and values regarding marriage and singlehood across various conservative religious communities have much in common, and that religious singles often find themselves torn between their religious values and those of secular mainstream young adult society.
    January 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12290   open full text
  • The Space Between: Exploring How Religious Leaders Reconcile Religion and Politics.
    Korie L. Edwards.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 22, 2016
    Religious leaders, across religious traditions and demographic backgrounds, engage in politics in America. However, making sense of this is not an easy task, especially when their religious and political positions do not align. In these instances, they must somehow reconcile their incongruous positions. This article draws upon interview conversations with black religious leaders to explore how this is achieved. It is revealed that respondents bridge the space between their religious and political positions mainly by deploying three mechanisms: religious sequestration, issue minimization, and selective denial. This study contributes to our understanding of how religious leaders make sense of privileging civic and political positions over religious orthodoxy. It outlines the implications of this for black religious leaders specifically and the role of religious leaders in civic and political spheres more broadly.
    August 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12256   open full text
  • Race, Religion, and Anti‐Poverty Policy Attitudes.
    Ronald E. Brown, R. Khari Brown, Davin Phoenix, James S. Jackson.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 22, 2016
    Using the 2008 National Politics Study, the present study indicates that while African Americans are more likely than whites to hear sermons about poverty and other political issues, hearing such sermons more consistently associates with support for anti‐poverty government programs among non‐Hispanic whites than among both African Americans and Hispanics. The racially/ethnically marginalized status of blacks and Hispanics may contribute to these groups being more receptive than whites to religious messages emphasizing social inequality. The contrasting racial experiences of dominance and marginalization may also help explain why hearing politicized sermons is more meaningful to the progressive social welfare attitudes of whites than to African Americans and Hispanics. This expectation is rooted in the heightened variability of perspectives among whites and their religious organizations regarding the government's role in aiding the economically disadvantaged. Conversely, the vast majority of blacks and Hispanics support the government helping individuals who fallen upon hard times. The greater variability in opinion among whites may also allow for greater differences in opinion to emerge between whites who attend relative to those outside of religious congregations led by clergy emphasizing spiritual and political solidarity with the poor than is the case for African Americans and Hispanics.
    August 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12258   open full text
  • What Religion Affords Grassroots NGOs: Frames, Networks, Modes of Action.
    Allison Schnable.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 11, 2016
    The international relief and development sector has swelled in the last two decades thanks to American grassroots NGOs: groups that rely on volunteer labor and individual contributions, often on budgets of less than $25,000 a year. Most of these organizations reject the label of “faith‐based organization,” yet they find the symbolic and material resources of religion indispensable. Religion affords these NGOs three kinds of resources to meet their distinct organizational needs. First, it provides frames, or ways of thinking and speaking about relief and development work that imbue it with legitimacy. Next, religion offers networks that provide money, volunteers, and entrée into aid‐receiving communities. Finally, religion affords familiar modes of action that link the NGO, supporters, and local aid recipients. I support these claims with LDA topic modeling (a computerized method of text analysis), content analysis of websites, and in‐depth interviews with 43 informants.
    August 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12272   open full text
  • The Long Arm of Religion: Childhood Adversity, Religion, and Self‐perception Among Black Americans.
    Andrea K. Henderson.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 11, 2016
    Significant associations between childhood adversity and adult mental health have been documented in epidemiological and social science research. However, there is a dearth of research examining this relationship among black Americans, as well as into what cultural institutions and practices may help individuals in dealing with childhood adversity. This study suggests that religion may be an important resource for black Americans in the face of early‐life socioeconomic and health disadvantage. Using data from the National Survey of American Life, a nationally representative sample of both African Americans and black Caribbeans (n = 5,191), this study outlines a series of arguments linking childhood adversity, religiosity, and self‐perception among black Americans. The results suggest some support for religious involvement in moderating—or buffering—the harmful effects of childhood adversity on the self‐esteem and mastery among black Americans, specifically religious service attendance and religious coping. In addition, the results reveal that religion may also amplify the deleterious effects of childhood disadvantage on adult mental health. Study limitations are identified and several promising directions for future research are discussed.
    August 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12262   open full text
  • Family Formation and Returning to Institutional Religion in Young Adulthood.
    Jeremy E. Uecker, Damon Mayrl, Samuel Stroope.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 10, 2016
    Institutional religious involvement wanes during young adulthood, but evidence suggests life‐course factors such as family formation bring people back to religion. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Waves 1, 3, and 4), we examine how often young adults who were involved in institutional religion as adolescents return—measured by religious service attendance and religious affiliation—after leaving in emerging adulthood, and how this return is patterned by family formation. The majority of young adults who leave do not return to regular religious service attendance, regardless of their family formation. But single parents, married parents, and childless married individuals are more likely, and childless cohabiting couples less likely, to return to religious communities than those who are both single and childless. Only married parents are more likely than childless singles to reaffiliate, though there is marginal evidence that childless married adults may also be more likely. Thus, the institutions of religion and family are still linked, even though overall levels of religious return are not as high as expected.
    August 10, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12271   open full text
  • What Kind of Christian Are You? Religious Ideologies and Political Attitudes.
    Eric L. McDaniel.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 10, 2016
    Through measures of orthodoxy, images of God, and instrumental beliefs, scholars of the social scientific study of religion have been able to demonstrate how abstract and specific religious beliefs influence political and social attitudes. Building upon this work, this article uses a unique data set to measure social and prosperity gospel support. Further, it examines the roots and political behavioral consequences of support to these religious ideologies. The results show that religious tradition, congregational messages, and social demographics all influence doctrinal support. However, these relationships are conditional upon race. The results also show that the social gospel promotes an emphasis on the structural sources of social problems and the importance of rehabilitation, which leads to higher levels of self‐expressed liberalism and democratic identification. Conversely, the prosperity gospel promotes holding individuals accountable for social problems and punishing deviant behavior, which leads to higher levels of self‐expressed conservatism and Republican identification. The data also suggest that race matters, as the relationship between prosperity gospel support and political attitudes is more powerful for blacks than whites.
    August 10, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12264   open full text
  • Religious Involvement and Health Over Time: Predictive Effects in a National Sample of African Americans.
    David L. Roth, Therri Usher, Eddie M. Clark, Cheryl L. Holt.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 09, 2016
    In this study, two telephone interviews that assessed both religious involvement and health‐related quality of life were conducted approximately 2.5 years apart in a national sample of 290 African Americans. Religious involvement was assessed with an instrument that measured both personal religious beliefs (e.g., having a personal relationship with God) and more public religious behaviors (e.g., attending church services). Health‐related quality of life was measured with version 2 of the Medical Outcomes Study 12‐item short form (SF‐12v2). Structural equation models indicated that higher religious beliefs at baseline predicted better physical and mental health 2.5 years later. Higher religious behaviors at baseline contributed smaller, complementary suppression effects. Physical and mental health indicators from the SF‐12v2 at baseline did not predict changes in either religious beliefs or religious behaviors over time. These findings indicate that, for African Americans, personal religious beliefs lead to beneficial health effects over time, whereas individual differences in health do not appear to predict changes in religious involvement.
    August 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12269   open full text
  • Prayer, Patronage, and Personal Agency in Nicaraguan Accounts of Receiving International Aid.
    LiErin Probasco.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 06, 2016
    This article examines how religious beliefs and practices influence the reception of international relief and development aid in impoverished communities. Specifically, I explain how Nicaraguan recipients’ prayers both enhance and constrain their ability to assert themselves as “empowered” actors during aid interactions. Data come from observations and interviews over a two‐year period with 81 Nicaraguans in communities that receive aid from Christian development organizations. Compared to secular constructions of aid interactions, prayers provide space for Nicaraguans to position themselves as influential actors effecting change for themselves or their families. Through prayers, recipients portray themselves as influencing the actions of more powerful parties, including God and potential donors. They also pray for donors’ well‐being, thereby offering spiritual reciprocity for material gifts. However, the same prayers that empower individuals at the interpersonal level constrain their ability to envision transformation of social structures. These findings shape understandings of prayer as aligning actions, of the moral and social dimensions of receiving care from strangers, and of the complex and contradictory ways religious practices influence discourses of empowerment and development.
    August 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12263   open full text
  • Addressing Criticisms of Global Religion Research: A Consumption‐Based Exploration of Status and Materialism, Sustainability, and Volunteering Behavior.
    Elizabeth A. Minton, Lynn R. Kahle, Tan Soo Jiuan, Siok Kuan Tambyah.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 06, 2016
    Religion is a key source of core values and one of the most deeply psychological experiences; however, prior research has often inadequately measured religion's influence on consumption behaviors. Our research addresses criticisms of prior research by (1) reducing cultural bias by conducting research within one country, (2) examining both religious affiliation and religiosity, (3) exploring numerous consumption behaviors (social status desire, materialism views, sustainable behaviors, environmental views, and volunteering behavior) in a within‐subjects design, and (4) testing religion's effect on consumption behavior with over 1,000 participants. Findings provide insight for consumer well‐being. Specifically, consumers high in external religiosity are more materialistic, more sustainable, and more likely to volunteer than consumers low in external religiosity. Consumers high in internal religiosity are also more likely to be sustainable and hold pro‐environmental views. In addition, Buddhists and Hindus are less likely to hold pro‐environmental views than Christians. Buddhists are more materialistic than Christians, and Hindus are less desiring of social status than Christians. In addressing the criticisms of prior research in the context of consumption, our research builds on values‐based and social‐based theories.
    August 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12260   open full text
  • Religious Zionist Singles: Caught Between “Family Values” and “Young Adulthood”.
    Ari Engelberg.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 06, 2016
    In current Religious Zionist society, marriage and family are considered sacred values that stand in opposition to the sexual liberalism that believers associate with secular society. Religious Zionists are encouraged to marry in their early 20s; those who fail to follow this societal script find themselves facing social and religious challenges. This article, based upon ethnographic research and in‐depth interviews with RZ singles, examines the contexts of this phenomenon as well as the actual effect of prolonged singlehood upon the religiosity of singles. Singles’ distance from traditional synagogue‐based communities and their tendency to form closed networks of friends with other Religious Zionists (RZs), both of which are typical during young adulthood, were found to impact their religiosity. It was also found that many singles consider their religiosity to be flawed. This is explained as resulting from both the drawing force of Western youth culture and from feelings of loneliness and anomy experienced by singles. Their central strategy for dealing with the arising tension is compartmentalization—viewing singlehood as a period during which a moratorium from strict religious observance is acceptable.
    August 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12259   open full text
  • Sect‐to‐Church Movement in Globalization: Transforming Pentecostalism and Coastal Intermediaries in Contemporary China.
    Ke‐hsien Huang.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 06, 2016
    After eight months of itinerant fieldwork across 17 provinces, I elaborate on how the largest Pentecostal group deeply localized in China, the True Jesus Church, has undergone sect‐to‐church movement through interactions among overseas, coastal, and inland churches in globalizing China. A critical intermediary role in this process has been taken by emerging coastal Fujian leaders, who have been successfully reforming not only their churches but also inland counterparts by tactfully utilizing overseas churches as stimuli, resources providers, and legitimizers for the transformation project. The Chinese fever of integration into the world and high status granted to the overseas are keys to smooth away the barriers of the traditionalist old guard. Accordingly, the originally enclosed, anti‐political, sectarian, spirit‐led group has turned more institutionalized, laity‐oriented, text‐based, and welcoming to the government and mainstream Protestantism.
    August 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12257   open full text
  • “I Was a Muslim, But Now I Am a Christian”: Preaching, Legitimation, and Identity Management in a Southern Evangelical Church.
    Gerardo Marti.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. August 04, 2016
    Established in 2005, “Life” is a suburban, nondenominational, evangelical church in Charlotte, North Carolina, with an almost entirely white membership, yet the lead pastor is an immigrant from the Middle East. As an ex‐Muslim ethnic Pakistani who was born and raised in Kuwait, Pastor Sameer Khalid does not “fit” into southern culture, and he did not convert to Christianity until he was enrolled in college in the United States. Ethnographic data from 14 months of fieldwork reveal how Pastor Sameer uses weekly sermons to negotiate racialized stigmas, emphasize his common religious identity with the congregation, and make his immigrant background a distinctive religious resource for the church. More specifically, while all pastors require legitimation of their charismatic authority, this research focuses on the dynamics of performance through preaching within the Sunday morning services of this congregation, a performance that negotiates this lead pastor's ethnic and religious identities and accentuates his strategic use of institutionalized evangelical narratives to subvert Islamophobic threats and buttress legitimation of his pastoral identity.
    August 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12261   open full text
  • Testosterone, Risk Taking, and Religiosity: Evidence from Two Cultures.
    Lee Ellis, Anthony W. Hoskin, Malini Ratnasingam.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. July 06, 2016
    Miller and Stark (2002) argued that worldwide tendencies for males to be less religious than females must have a physiological foundation. In the same year, Stark (2002) proposed that males are more prone to risk taking than females (thereby becoming less religious) due to their higher testosterone levels. The present study was undertaken to assess the merits of these proposals using questionnaire data obtained from Malaysian and U.S. college students. Seven religiosity traits were factor analyzed into a single factor, two risk‐taking traits were averaged into a single variable, and five traits were factor analyzed into two factorial measures of androgens. The usual gender differences in religiosity and risk taking were confirmed. However, contrary to Miller and Stark's suggestion, risk taking was not found to be inversely correlated with religiosity. Regarding the two androgen factors, most of the findings were inconsistent with Stark's proposal that negative correlations would be found. Aside from females being more religious and less prone to take risks than males, most of the other theoretical ideas offered by Miller and Stark were not supported by findings from this study.
    July 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12248   open full text
  • Is Belief in God Related to Differences in Adolescents’ Psychological Functioning?
    Lee M. Huuskes, Patrick C. L. Heaven, Joseph Ciarrochi, Philip Parker, Nerina Caltabiano.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. July 05, 2016
    Many studies have documented links between positive psychological functioning and religiousness during the adolescent years, but very few have contrasted religious and nonreligious youth. The purpose of the present study was to examine differences in psychological functioning among adolescent atheists, agnostics, and believers using a profile analysis approach. The authors conducted a survey of Grade 8 students (N = 1,925) enrolled in Catholic schools in two Australian states. The survey included 10 measures of psychological functioning, broadly divided into three categories (positive adjustment, social well‐being, and negative outcomes). Results indicated that belief in God was related to distinct profiles of psychological adjustment. The implications of these findings for understanding how differing value systems are related to particular developmental stages are discussed.
    July 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12249   open full text
  • Measuring Religion in War: A Response.
    Shane Joshua Barter, Ian Zatkin‐Osburn.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. July 05, 2016
    We respond to Isak Svensson's reaction to our article titled “Shrouded: Islam, War, and Holy War in Southeast Asia,” which was published in Volume 53 of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
    July 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12255   open full text
  • The Price of the Calling: Exploring Clergy Compensation Using Current Population Survey Data.
    Cyrus Schleifer, Mark Chaves.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. July 05, 2016
    Previous research shows that clergy make less money than others with similar levels of education. We use Current Population Survey data to offer five contributions to knowledge about clergy compensation. First, we document and take into account the shift in clergy compensation from the provision of free housing to the payment of housing allowances. Second, although the clergy earnings disadvantage appears to have increased over the last 40 years relative to their educational peers, the picture changes when we exclude the highest income occupations. Clergy have lost ground to doctors, lawyers, and investment bankers, but they have gained ground relative to everyone else. Third, these gains are largely because of decline in the number of hours clergy report working. Fourth, we show that clergy working in churches earn less than clergy working elsewhere. Fifth, we document immediate wage penalties for those who become clergy and, among clergy, for those who begin to work in congregations. Overall, although clergy still earn less than comparable workers, their position has improved in recent decades relative to all but the highest earning occupations.
    July 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12254   open full text
  • The Religion of the Educated Classes Revisited: New Religions, the Nonreligious, and Educational Levels.
    James R. Lewis, Sean E. Currie, Michael P. Oman‐Reagan.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 30, 2016
    A number of different studies carried out in the late 20th century indicated that new religious movements (NRMs) tended to recruit individuals who were highly educated. In the present study, we confirm this pattern utilizing data from the national censuses of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England, and Wales. Additionally, we found that educational patterns for NRMs in the censuses tended to fall into at least two subgroups, one of which had educational levels comparable to mainline denominations and the other of which had significantly higher educational achievements. Furthermore, census respondents who expressed some variety of nonbelief were comparable to this latter group in terms of educational accomplishments. We discuss this latter finding in terms of Ernst Troeltsch and Colin Campbell's analysis of secularization.
    June 30, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12246   open full text
  • Exceptionalism or Chinamerica: Measuring Religious Change in the Globalizing World Today.
    Fenggang Yang.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 30, 2016
    Religion is changing fast in this era of globalization. Major global trends include the growth of Muslims, the shrinking percentage of unaffiliated, and the rapid rise of Christianity in global China. By 2030, China is likely to become the largest Christian country in the world while retaining large numbers of Buddhists, Muslims, and folk religious believers. To capture religious changes more accurately, social scientists of religion must sharpen their measurement tools regarding religiosity; pay more attention to the reality of nonalignment among religious identity, belief, and practice; and acknowledge the reality of nonexclusive/multiple religious beliefs, practices, and identities. Scholars must also take responsibility for developing a clear and nuanced definition of religion, abandon exceptionalist thinking, and seek to discover common patterns of religious change across societies. Conceptual and measurement tools at the disposal of social scientists of religion should enable us to perceive and understand the converging changes of religion in China, the United States, and other societies, without ignoring their historical differences and contemporary particularities.
    June 30, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12253   open full text
  • The Implicit Image of God: God as Reality and Psychological Well‐Being.
    Ines Testoni, Emilio Paolo Visintin, Dora Capozza, Maria Concetta Carlucci, Malihe Shams.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 30, 2016
    Research has widely demonstrated that religiosity is related to psychological well‐being even in situations of severe illness. To assess religious beliefs, explicit measures have generally been used. In this study, we measured the belief that God is reality as opposed to myth or abstraction by using an implicit technique (the Single Category Implicit Association Test). The study was carried out in Italy, where a large majority of the population is Catholic, and the prevailing image of God is that of a compassionate and supportive father. Participants were cancer patients identifying themselves as believers. As expected, the automatic belief that God is reality (vs. abstraction) was related to beneficial outcomes: lower reported psychophysical anxiety symptoms and a weaker use of avoidance strategies to cope with stress. Thus, also, automatic religious beliefs may affect feelings and behaviors.
    June 30, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12252   open full text
  • A Gospel of Prosperity? An Analysis of the Relationship Between Religion and Earned Income in Ghana, the Most Religious Country in the World*.
    Sedefka V. Beck, Sara J. Gundersen.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 29, 2016
    This study tests for a relationship between religious affiliation and earned income in Ghana. While microeconomic analyses have studied the relationship between religion and several socioeconomic outcomes in the United States, remarkably few have done so in developing countries, and none has explored the religion‐earnings relationship. Using the fifth round of the Ghana Living Standards Survey from 2005 to 2006, we find that, among women, religious denomination correlates with earned income. Specifically, Spiritualists, Pentecostals, and Methodists earn higher income than the Presbyterian base group, while Traditionalists earn less. This article investigates the relationship and posits some of its causes, including the influence of a trend in neo‐Pentecostal religious groups that emphasizes wealth accumulation and self‐confidence.
    June 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12247   open full text
  • Make Love and Lose Your Religion and Virtue: Recalling Sexual Experiences Undermines Spiritual Intentions and Moral Behavior.
    Caroline Rigo, Filip Uzarevic, Vassilis Saroglou.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 28, 2016
    In contrast with traditional considerations, sexuality is often perceived today as being rather compatible with religion/spirituality and morality. However, there may be some inherent opposition between (a) sexuality (thoughts, affects, and pleasure) and (b) religion/spirituality (attitudes, motives) and (interpersonal) morality (dispositions, behavior). The two imply, respectively, self‐enhancement versus self‐transcendence, disinhibition versus self‐control, and disgust indifference versus sensitivity. We hypothesized that sexual experience attenuates spiritual and moral concerns and behaviors. In three online experiments, young adults were asked to recall a personal sexual experience. Compared to a control condition, sexual induction diminished spiritual behavioral intentions (Experiments 1 and 2), in particular among those with high individual disinhibition (Experiment 1), as well as behaviors of prosociality and integrity/honesty (Experiment 3). The effects were independent of individual religiousness/spirituality. These findings suggest that combining sexual pleasure with self‐transcendence and moral perfection, even if a legitimate ideal, is not an easy enterprise.
    June 28, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12244   open full text
  • Conceptualizing the Religious Dimensions of Armed Conflicts: A Response to “Shrouded: Islam, War, and Holy War in Southeast Asia”.
    Isak Svensson.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 28, 2016
    Here I react to an article published in Volume 53 of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion by Ian Barter and Zatkin‐Osburn. My principal disagreement with Barter and Zatkin‐Osburn concerns their operational and methodological critiques of my work. However, the exchange also speaks to larger questions of how to conceptualize and measure religious dimensions of armed conflicts. It also highlights the importance of methodological pluralism in the study of religion and conflict.
    June 28, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12251   open full text
  • Narrating and Navigating Authorities: Evangelical and Mainline Protestant Interpretations of the Bible and Science.
    Esther Chan, Elaine Howard Ecklund.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 28, 2016
    Research on the way Protestants interpret the Bible in relationship to science has tended to focus on biblical literalists; less research, however, has examined the heterogeneity of how nonliteralists interpret the Bible. Utilizing data from semi‐structured interviews with 77 evangelical and mainline Protestants who attend high‐SES congregations, we find that members of both groups draw on similar interpretation strategies in discussing the Bible and evolution. Both eschew literal interpretations of the Bible, demarcate boundaries between the Bible and science, and subsume evolution under broader theological beliefs. Mainline Protestants and evangelicals differ in the way they interpret miracles, with mainline Protestants revealing more openness to scientific and social interpretations of the Bible's miracles, while evangelicals emphasize God's authority over nature. Findings show that different strategies are evoked depending on the issue discussed, revealing implications for a deeper understanding of the way different traditions provide resources for interpreting the Bible and its relationship to scientific issues. Finally, findings contribute to a more robust knowledge of boundary work between the Bible and science as institutional and epistemic authorities.
    June 28, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12245   open full text
  • The Social Context of Organized Nonbelief: County‐Level Predictors of Nonbeliever Organizations in the United States.
    Alfredo García, Joseph Blankholm.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 28, 2016
    Many recent social scientific studies have noted that the percentage of Americans with no religious affiliation is on the rise, but few have examined the nonbeliever organizations that some of these “nones” might join. This study uses an original data set, the first attempt at documenting the population of local nonbeliever organizations in the United States, to explore where these groups are more likely to flourish. Though one might assume that less religious counties, as measured by the percentage of those with no stated religious affiliation, would be more likely to contain nonbeliever organizations, this article provides evidence that they emerge more frequently and in greater numbers in counties with proportionally more evangelical Protestants. The percentage of evangelicals among a county's population is strongly associated with both the existence (dichotomously coded) and the number of nonbeliever organizations, even when controlling for a range of demographic and institutional factors.
    June 28, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12250   open full text
  • The Glory of God is a Human Being Fully Alive: Predictors of Positive Versus Negative Mental Health Among Clergy.
    Rae Jean Proeschold‐Bell, Ashley Eisenberg, Christopher Adams, Bruce Smith, Sara Legrand, Amber Wilk.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 05, 2016
    Clergy fulfill vital societal functions as meaning makers and community builders. Partly because of their important roles, clergy frequently encounter stressful situations. Further, studies suggest that clergy experience high rates of depression. Despite this, few studies have examined protective factors for clergy that may increase their positive mental health. We invited all United Methodist clergy in North Carolina to participate in a survey. Of church‐serving clergy, 85 percent responded (n = 1,476). Hierarchical multiple regression was used to assess the predictors of three positive and four negative mental health outcomes. The three sets of predictors were: demographics, which explained 2–10 percent of the variances; variables typically related to mental health (social support, social isolation, and financial stress), which explained 14–41 percent of the variances; and clergy‐specific variables, which explained 14–20 percent of the variances, indicating the importance of measuring occupation‐specific variables. Some variables (e.g., congregation demands) significantly related to both positive and negative mental health, whereas others (e.g., positive congregations, congregation support) significantly related primarily to positive mental health. In addition to their intervention implications, these findings support separate consideration for negative versus positive mental health.
    April 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12234   open full text
  • Loose Connections and Liberal Theology: Blurring the Boundaries in Two Church‐Based Communities of Spiritual Practice.
    Penny Edgell, Derek Robey.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 05, 2016
    We used a mixed methods approach—including ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and a survey—to study two innovative Christian contemplative worship services housed in a mainline Protestant congregation in a midwestern city. These services employed boundary‐blurring practices designed to attract the “de‐churched”—those who had been involved in a Christian congregation in the past but who had at some point disengaged from organized religion. Though attracting some formerly de‐churched participants, these services were far more successful in attracting several other constituencies united by their liberal theology and by a preference for loose connections. We argue that these worship services are best understood as thriving communities of sustained spiritual practice where contemplative rituals sacralize both theistic and extra‐theistic, Christian and non‐Christian, symbols and beliefs.
    April 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12236   open full text
  • The Electoral Impact of Public Opinion on Religious Establishment.
    Jeremiah J. Castle.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 04, 2016
    While previous work has examined the structure of public opinion on church and state, to date there has been little effort to connect public opinion on this group of issues to vote choice. I begin by hypothesizing that attitudes on religious establishment are distinct from attitudes on more often studied issues like abortion and gay marriage. Second, I argue that religious establishment meets the conditions for partisan voting: the parties and candidates have taken distinct, highly public stands on religious establishment, and the issue is highly salient among a certain segment of voters. Finally, I develop a theory that establishment attitudes should exert a greater impact among those individuals who feel that their values are threatened in contemporary society because such individuals may see religious accommodation as a means of returning to their understanding of traditional values. I test these hypotheses using data from the 2008 Cooperative Campaign Analysis Project, and I find considerable support for my argument.
    April 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12228   open full text
  • Making and Unmaking Prejudice: Religious Affiliation Mitigates the Impact of Mortality Salience on Out‐Group Attitudes.
    Anna‐Kaisa Newheiser, Miles Hewstone, Alberto Voci, Katharina Schmid.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 04, 2016
    Research inspired by terror management theory has established that being reminded of the inevitability of death (i.e., “mortality salience”) leads people to express more negative attitudes toward out‐groups. We examined the hypothesis that being affiliated with a religion may buffer individuals against this negative impact of mortality salience. Two studies, conducted in two cultures that differ in their emphasis on religiosity (the United Kingdom and Italy), supported this hypothesis. Specifically, we found that mortality salience resulted in more negative out‐group attitudes only among participants not affiliated with any religion. Further, this buffering effect of religious affiliation was not moderated by participants’ specific religious orientations or by their levels of social dominance orientation. In addition, the buffering effect did not hold when prejudice against the target out‐group was not proscribed by religious authorities. Implications for research on religion, prejudice, and terror management are discussed.
    April 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12233   open full text
  • Does a Nation's Religious Composition Affect Generalized Trust? The Role of Religious Heterogeneity and the Percent Religious.
    Daniel V. A. Olson, Miao Li.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 04, 2016
    Is religion more of an integrative or a divisive force in contemporary societies? We use multilevel analyses of World Values Survey data from 77,409 individuals in 69 countries to examine how both the percent of the population that is religious and the religious heterogeneity of a country are related to generalized social trust, the willingness of individuals to trust “most people.” When we first examine the main effects of the percent religious and religious heterogeneity we find no evidence that either variable is related to trust in the ways predicted by major theories. However, the combination of these two variables has a huge negative relationship with trust. Countries that are both highly religious and religiously heterogeneous (diverse) have, on average, levels of trust that are only half the average levels of countries with other combinations of these two variables. The results have important implications for understanding the role of religion in modern societies.
    April 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12231   open full text
  • Practical Matters and Ultimate Concerns, “Doing,” and “Being”: A Diary Study of the Chaplain's Role in the Care of the Seriously Ill in an Urban Acute Care Hospital.
    Ellen L. Idler, George H. Grant, Tammie Quest, Zachary Binney, Molly M. Perkins.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 04, 2016
    Systematic observational studies of the chaplain's role and function in the secular health‐care setting are few. With an episode‐based diary recorded on handheld digital tablets, palliative care chaplains at a large urban hospital with a diverse patient population recorded details of patient visits in near‐real time. Cluster analysis revealed groups of activities we called "doing" and "being," and conversation topics of "practical matters" and "ultimate concerns”; chaplains were most satisfied with visits that involved all of these. Chaplains offer patients and families a space to express significant concerns; however, visits with spiritual or religious activities or topics were relatively rare. Broad quality of life concerns are central to the evolving professional role of chaplains in the secular setting of the modern hospital.
    April 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12235   open full text
  • Religion and Subjective Well‐Being Across Religious Traditions: Evidence from 1.3 Million Americans.
    Chaeyoon Lim.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 04, 2016
    I examine the relationship between religious service attendance and two domains (cognitive and affective) of subjective well‐being using Gallup Daily Poll data, which has a sample size over 1.3 million. I find that religious attendance is positively associated with both domains of subjective well‐being in all religious traditions examined, including non‐Christian traditions and “religious nones.” The strength of the association varies significantly across the traditions: stronger among Christian groups—particularly among the groups that are, on average, more observant—than among non‐Christian religions or “religious nones.” The stronger association among the observant groups is partly due to the lower level of well‐being among nonattendees in those groups than nonattendees in less observant groups. I also find that the association is stronger among individuals who consider religion an important part of life than among those who do not. Finally, my findings suggest that religious service attendance is equally strongly related to both domains of subjective well‐being.
    April 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12232   open full text
  • Congregational Diversity and Attendance in a Mainline Protestant Denomination.
    Kevin D. Dougherty, Brandon C. Martinez, Gerardo Martí.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 04, 2016
    One of the surprising oversights of existing research on racially/ethnically diverse congregations is the inattention to how racial composition relates to patterns of attendance. Is diversity associated with attendance growth, stability, or decline? A popular assumption from the Church Growth Movement is that cultural homogeneity is a foundation for growth, but recent research challenges this long‐standing belief. We test these competing views with longitudinal data from over 10,000 congregations in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). We examine the relationship between changes in racial/ethnic diversity and changes in average weekly attendance over a 19‐year time period (1993–2012). In spite of the ELCA's denominational push for racial diversity in its local churches, our analysis finds increasing racial diversity associated with decreasing average attendance, most notably during the 1990s. To conclude, we discuss the implications of our findings for congregations and denominations.
    April 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12229   open full text
  • Prevalence, Predictors, and Implications of Religious/Spiritual Struggles Among Muslims.
    Hisham Abu‐Raiya, Julie J. Exline, Kenneth I. Pargament, Qutaiba Agbaria.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. April 04, 2016
    The current investigation explored prevalence, predictors, and psychological implications of religious and spiritual (r/s) struggles among an Israeli‐Palestinian, Muslim sample. R/s struggle was assessed by the Religious and Spiritual Struggles Scale (Exline et al. 2014), a newly developed scale that assesses a wide array of r/s struggles. Factor analysis of the scale in this study revealed five factors of struggle: Divine and Doubt, Punitive Entities, Interpersonal, Moral, and Ultimate Meaning. Of the 139 Muslim participants, between 1.4 percent and 40.2 percent experienced various r/s struggles. Positive God image and fundamentalism predicted lower levels of struggle, whereas negative God image and universality predicted higher levels of struggle. After controlling for religious variables, we found that both depressive symptoms and generalized anxiety were predicted by Punitive Entities and Ultimate Meaning struggles, while satisfaction with life was predicted by Interpersonal struggle. Possible explanations and implications of the findings are offered, and the limitations of the study are discussed.
    April 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12230   open full text
  • Social Affiliation from Religious Disaffiliation: Evidence of Selective Mixing Among Youth with No Religious Preference During the Transition to College.
    Brandon Sepulvado, David Hachen, Michael Penta, Omar Lizardo.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. March 31, 2016
    The number of individuals claiming a nonreligious identity in the United States is on the rise, with one‐fourth of the overall U.S. public failing to identify with any of the major religious traditions. In this article, we examine whether religious disaffiliation structures social network formation in a social context in which religious identification (and religiosity) is a salient cultural marker. We take advantage of unique data on the personal networks of youth transitioning into a college where religion is a culturally salient facet of everyday life. We hypothesize that, if there is nonreligious homophily, it may result from an attraction of the disaffiliated to each other or from a repulsion away from the religiously affiliated. Results of exponential random graph models suggest that both mechanisms may be at play. We find that religious “Nones” and affiliated non‐Catholics are disproportionately more likely to form and maintain relationships with one another and are relatively less likely to form and maintain relationships with members of their respective religious out‐groups. We close by outlining the implications of our findings and delineating promising avenues for future research.
    March 31, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12227   open full text
  • Religion and Public Opinion Toward Same‐Sex Relations, Marriage, and Adoption: Does the Type of Practice Matter?
    Samuel L. Perry, Andrew L. Whitehead.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. March 29, 2016
    This study examines how religion's impact on Americans’ attitudes toward same‐sex practices varies by the type of practice being considered. We theorize that same‐sex romantic and family practices such as sexual relations, marriage, and adoption represent distinct practice types, differing in degrees of legality, cultural legitimacy, and in their internal power dynamics. Consequently, we expect that Americans view each practice type somewhat differently and their opinions on each may be influenced by religion in distinctive ways. Drawing upon national‐level data, we estimate and compare the relative net effects of a comprehensive battery of religious measures on support for gay sex, marriage, and adoption, both for the full sample and across religious traditions. Analyses demonstrate that public opinion toward gay sexual relations is more strongly related to religious practice and theological conservatism compared to attitudes regarding same‐sex marriage or adoption. Moreover, frequent religious practice and conservative theological beliefs about the Bible tend to be more strongly associated with attitudes toward same‐sex relationships for evangelicals, compared to mainline Protestants and, to a lesser extent, Catholics. Findings ultimately affirm that the type of same‐sex practice being considered (sex, marriage, or adoption) serves to moderate religions’ impact on Americans’ support for such practices.
    March 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12215   open full text
  • Does Religion Breed Trust? A Cross‐National Study of the Effects of Religious Involvement, Religious Faith, and Religious Context on Social Trust.
    Ellen Dingemans, Erik Ingen.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. November 20, 2015
    Many previous studies have linked religiosity to social trust. Yet much of this relation remains insufficiently understood, which is partly due to the fact that religiosity is a multidimensional phenomenon. In this article, we identify several of those dimensions, including the integration in religious communities, the importance of God in people's lives, and the religious context. These dimensions give rise to different mechanisms that produce both trust‐enhancing and trust‐reducing effects. Data from the European Values Survey (2008) were used to test the resulting hypotheses, using multilevel logistic regression models. We conclude that the micro effects are ambivalent: integration in religious communities furthers trust, whereas religious socialization and the importance of God lower trust. On the macro level, we find a strong effect of Protestantism, which is in line with previous studies, but that remains puzzling since the individual‐level difference between Protestants and the other religious traditions was found to be very small. In addition, in contrast to other studies, we found that religious diversity increases social trust.
    November 20, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12217   open full text
  • Bible Beliefs, Conservative Religious Identity, and Same‐Sex Marriage Support: Examining Main and Moderating Effects.
    Samuel L. Perry.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. November 18, 2015
    Research finds that Americans who espouse theologically conservative beliefs about the Bible generally oppose same‐sex marriage. Studies exploring this link, however, have been limited in that their operationalization of fundamentalist belief has been problematically conceptualized and they have potentially confounded the effect of conservative religious identity. The current study asks: (1) How do distinct beliefs about the nature and authority of the Bible influence same‐sex marriage support? (2) Do these beliefs influence same‐sex marriage support independently of conservative religious identity? (3) To what extent do Bible beliefs and conservative religious identity moderate one another's effects? And (4) to what extent are these factors moderated by religious tradition and frequency of Bible reading? Analyses of 2006 Portraits of American Life Study data reveal that while identifying as religiously conservative is the strongest predictor of opposition to same‐sex marriage, believing in inerrancy and creationism remain strong predictors in full models. I also find moderating effects between belief in creationism, inerrancy, inspiration; religious‐conservative identity; and religious tradition. Findings clarify how theological beliefs and religious identity shape support for same‐sex marriage across religious traditions.
    November 18, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12212   open full text
  • Does Guilt Motivate Prayer?
    Anthony D. Hermann, Robert C. Fuller, Austin J. Simpson, Mark J. Lehtman.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. November 05, 2015
    We recruited 110 college students for an experimental investigation of the role of guilt in motivating religious behavior. We induced guilt in half of the participants before asking all subjects to indicate their current interest in prayer. Overall, participants in the guilt condition were more interested in praying, but this effect was not observed among those high in grandiose narcissism. Our findings make a contribution not only to the study of the role that emotions have in motivating religious behavior, but also to the study of narcissists’ susceptibility to guilt.
    November 05, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12208   open full text
  • From Sodomy to Sympathy: LDS Elites’ Discursive Construction of Homosexuality Over Time.
    Ryan T. Cragun, Emily Williams, J. E. Sumerau.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 23, 2015
    In this article, we examine how leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‐Day Saints (LDS) discursively constructed homosexuality over the last 50 years. Based on textual analysis of LDS talks, magazines, and other publications, we analyze how LDS elites, responding to shifting historical, cultural, and religious interpretations of sexualities, discursively constructed homosexuality as problematic for (1) society from the 1950s to the 1990s, (2) the family from the 1970s to present, and (3) divinely inspired gender roles from the 1980s to present. Further, we show how LDS elites softened their rhetoric in the 1990s, and in so doing, established a new discursive construction of homosexuality as an ailment requiring sympathetic treatment. Throughout our analysis, we also examine how LDS elites accomplished such discursive work in response to shifting societal and religious attitudes concerning sexual minorities. In conclusion, we draw out implications for understanding how religious elites discursively construct sexual norms, the reciprocal relationship between sexual and religious discourse and advocacy, and the importance of examining how dominant religious discourses change over time.
    September 23, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12180   open full text
  • Denominational Variations Across American Jewish Communities.
    Ira M. Sheskin, Harriet Hartman.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 23, 2015
    This article explores the Jewish identity of different Jewish denominational identification groups using the Decade 2000 Data Set with its 19,800 interviews of Jewish households in 22 American Jewish communities. We relate the Jewish identity of individuals in each denominational group (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform/Reconstructionist) to the denominational composition of the community. Communities are clustered via k‐means cluster analysis based on their denominational profiles. We examine the extent to which individual Jewish identification varies by the denominational composition of the community in which an individual resides, finding that considerable variation exists in Jewish identity measures depending on the type of denominational profile that exists in the individual's community. That is, Orthodox Jews, for example, behave differently in a community with a significant Orthodox population than in a community with few Orthodox, but many Reform Jews. Implications for Jewish communities, as well as for the broader interreligious community, are considered.
    September 23, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12189   open full text
  • The (Non) Religion of Mechanical Turk Workers.
    Andrew R. Lewis, Paul A. Djupe, Stephen T. Mockabee, Joshua Su‐Ya Wu.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 22, 2015
    Social science researchers have increasingly come to utilize Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to obtain adult, opt‐in samples for use with experiments. Based on the demographic characteristics of MTurk samples, studies have provided some support for the representativeness of MTurk. Others have warranted caution based on demographic characteristics and comparisons of reliability. Yet, what is missing is an examination of the most glaring demographic difference in MTurk—religion. We compare five MTurk samples with a student convenience sample and the 2012 General Social Survey, finding that MTurk samples have a consistent bias toward nonreligion. MTurk surveys significantly overrepresent seculars and underrepresent Catholics and evangelical Protestants. We then compare the religiosity of religious identifiers across samples as well as relationships between religiosity and partisanship, finding many similarities and a few important differences from the general population.
    September 22, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12184   open full text
  • Explaining Cross‐National Variation in the Effect of Higher Education on Religiosity.
    Philip Schwadel.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 22, 2015
    While sociologists have long argued that higher education has a secularizing influence, recent research emphasizes the moderating role of social contexts in the relationship between social class and religion. I extend this line of research by examining sources of cross‐national variation in the association between higher education and religiosity using survey data from more than 46,000 respondents in 39 nations. Multilevel models of a religiosity scale show (1) in the aggregate, higher education has a moderate, negative effect on the religiosity scale, (2) this effect varies considerably across nations, and (3) the negative effect of higher education on religiosity is most robust in relatively religious nations. These results demonstrate the importance of national contexts in moderating the effect of education on religiosity. The results also support a cultural diffusion argument that suggests that the highly educated are innovators and early adopters of secular behaviors but that low levels of religiosity then diffuse to less‐educated segments of a population as secularity becomes more common.
    September 22, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12187   open full text
  • Generational Conversion? The Role of Religiosity in the Politics of Evangelicals.
    Mikael L. Pelz, Corwin E. Smidt.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 22, 2015
    The political environment for evangelical Protestants has changed substantially since the Christian Right reached its apex, as a more issue and ideologically diffuse political environment has emerged. The present study tests two different theoretical perspectives on whether these contextual changes may have altered Millennial evangelicals’ political perspectives vis‐à‐vis those of previous generations of evangelicals. On the one hand, theoretical perspectives related to differential political socialization processes across generations would lead to expectations of generational change among evangelicals. On the other hand, theoretical perspectives related to social identity theory would suggest far less change across generations. Using Pew's 2007 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, we test these expectations by comparing the relationships between religiosity and political attitudes across three generations of evangelicals. Ordered probit and logistic regression models estimate the impact of religiosity on various political attitudes. These models reveal that Millennial evangelical religiosity continues to be strongly related to Republican Party identification and opposition toward abortion, which is largely consistent with the social identity perspective. Generational change is most evident in a variety of nonsocial issues in which religiosity is associated with less conservatism among Millennials. Additional analysis using the 2012 Religion and Politics Survey with a smaller sample of Millennial evangelicals confirms these results.
    September 22, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12186   open full text
  • Does Religiousness Increase with Age? Age Changes and Generational Differences Over 35 Years.
    Vern L. Bengtson, Merril Silverstein, Norella M. Putney, Susan C. Harris.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 22, 2015
    We examine aging patterns and generational trends in religion using 35 years of survey data from 420 four‐generation families and in‐depth interviews with a subset of 25 families. Results indicate the importance of three time‐related effects on religiosity: individual aging and religious development over the life course; cohort influences; and effects of historical trends in religion. Results indicate an overall aging effect with an upward drift in religious intensity and strength of beliefs over the adult lifespan, though religious attendance remains generally stable over adulthood until it drops in late life. Growth curves show that the oldest generations (G1 and G2) display a “retirement surge” in religiosity. Trajectories of change for G3s and G4s reflect both lifecycle and cohort effects. Qualitative analysis provides insight concerning the generational differences identified in the survey, suggesting two trends: (1) from older‐ to later‐born age groups, spirituality becomes increasingly decoupled from religion; (2) conceptualizations of the divine show a shift from a God who is primarily transcendent (“out there”) for the G1s to one that is more imminent and personal in the G4s.
    September 22, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12183   open full text
  • Evangelical Elites’ Anti‐Homosexuality Narratives as a Resistance Strategy Against Attribution Effects.
    Jeremy N. Thomas, Andrew L. Whitehead.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 22, 2015
    While attribution theory expects that beliefs about the origins of homosexuality are directly related to beliefs about the moral acceptability of homosexual behavior, we use content analysis of the popular evangelical magazine Christianity Today to show that evangelical elites have developed a series of anti‐homosexuality narratives that allow them to resist attribution effects. In particular, we find that even when evangelical elites have expressed belief in the physiological origins of homosexuality, such as the influence of genetics and/or prenatal hormones, their negative beliefs about the moral acceptability of homosexual behavior have not varied. We argue, then, that evangelical elites’ anti‐homosexuality narratives provide them with a strategy for influencing rank‐and‐file evangelicals, so that while allowing for a diversity of beliefs about the origins of homosexuality, rank‐and‐file evangelicals still have a viable mechanism for connecting these beliefs—whatever they may be—to negative beliefs about the moral acceptability of homosexual behavior. Our findings thus extend attribution theory, illuminate the potential power of moral narratives, and amplify the need for future research.
    September 22, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12188   open full text
  • Sexual Encounters and Manhood Acts: Evangelicals, Latter‐Day Saints, and Religious Masculinities.
    Kelsy Burke, Amy Moff Hudec.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 22, 2015
    The experiences of men in traditional religions are complex, at times inconsistent, and not necessarily the direct result of religious teachings. This article draws from two qualitative case studies to examine the ways in which evangelical and Latter‐Day Saint men understand masculinity and their spiritual beliefs in the context of sexual activity. The authors present two masculine practices—acceptance of sexual rejection and sexual indifference—that allow religious men in this study to simultaneously challenge and uphold the system of hegemonic masculinity that their traditions promote. These findings point to the moments when creative, interpretative work helps religious men to reconcile their experiences with religious expectations and to alleviate the tensions they face in their everyday lives. This article offers new insights into how gender and sexuality studies may be integrated into the sociology of religion.
    September 22, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12182   open full text
  • Finnish Teachers’ Attitudes About Muslim Students and Muslim Student Integration.
    Inkeri Rissanen, Kirsi Tirri, Elina Kuusisto.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 22, 2015
    Although there is much discussion of educational needs and how to integrate Muslim students into modern Western contexts, there is a shortage of research on teachers’ attitudes about these issues. Finland offers a particularly interesting context for research, given its relatively new, small, yet rapidly growing Muslim population, its prominence of negative attitudes to visible religiosity, and its official policy of multiculturalism. This article presents the results of a quantitative study of Finnish teachers’ attitudes to Muslim students and to their integration into Finnish schools. A nonprobability sample of Finnish preservice and practicing teachers (N = 864) was surveyed and the resulting data analyzed with exploratory factor analysis, t‐tests, and ANOVA. The results indicate that Finnish teachers consider learning about general democratic values important, but their attitudes to dealing with Islam and Muslims are not quite as positive. However, previous involvement with other cultures indicated more positive attitudes among preservice teachers. Female teachers and practicing teachers were more oriented toward the teaching of commonality, and teaching at a more advanced level indicated more positive attitudes to Muslims and Muslim integration.
    September 22, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12190   open full text
  • Online Reactions to the Muhammad Cartoons: YouTube and the Virtual Ummah.
    Ahmed Al‐Rawi.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 22, 2015
    The publication of 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad by the Danish newspaper Jyllands‐Posten on September 30, 2005, created a great deal of controversy over self‐censorship, freedom of speech, and accusations of religious incitement. Muslim activists organized protests, and later hundreds of people were killed and hundreds of others were injured due to violent reactions to the cartoons. This article focuses on how people used YouTube to react to these cartoons by analyzing 261 video clips and 4,153 comments. Results show that the majority of the video clips and comments were moderate and positive in tone toward Islam and Muhammad; however, a small percentage either called for jihad against the West or made lethal threats against the artist. Other comments carried curses or insults against Denmark, while a few others were anti‐Islamic. The fact that these online reactions were highly varied in tone suggests that the online public sphere is very much divided.
    September 22, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12191   open full text
  • Religion, Cultural Clash, and Muslim American Attitudes About Politically Motivated Violence.
    Gabriel A. Acevedo, Ali R. Chaudhary.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 22, 2015
    Does adherence to Islam predict attitudes about “suicide bombing” among American Muslims? This study examines the effects of religious and political factors on views of politically motivated violence (PMV). We draw from diverse scholarship, emphasizing arguments that are inspired by Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilizations perspective, as well as recent work in the sociology of Islam. Using a measure that gauges support for “suicide bombing” from the 2007 Pew Survey of American Muslims, results from logistic regression models suggest that political views and religious factors have a minimal effect on Muslim American attitudes toward suicide bombing. Furthermore, we find that Qur’ānic authoritativeness (i.e., the view that the Qur’ān is the word of God and not written by men) is associated with lower odds of supporting this form of PMV. We discuss the implications of our findings for the often anecdotal and alarmist accounts that link Muslim religiosity to support for “radical” extremism. We close with study limitations and avenues of future research.
    September 22, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12185   open full text
  • Interventionist Secularism: A Comparative Analysis of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (1923–1928) and the Indian Constituent Assembly (1946–1949) Debates.
    Aysel Madra.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 22, 2015
    The debates in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (1923–1928) and the Indian Constituent Assembly (1946–1949) inscribed the secular infrastructures of these states into law. A close examination of these debates shows that while the separation of religion and state was an important aspect of Turkish and Indian secularisms, both allowed the state to intervene in the religious sphere. In both, state intervention in religion sought to transform the majority religion into a secularized and modernized form that would complement national identity. However, whereas Turkish secularism adopted “restrictive intervention,” which sanctions state interference to construct a monolithic national identity, the Indian nationalist leaders adopted “emancipative intervention,” which seeks to create an overarching national identity while preserving the cultural and religious diversity of society. While the former type of secularist intervention limits religion's public visibility and places it under state control, the latter seeks to eliminate and reform religious practices that hinder social justice and equality. Based on this analysis, I argue that secularism may be seen as a tool state authorities utilize in the service of the political project of creating a modern nation.
    September 22, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12192   open full text
  • Religion, Race, and Discrimination: A Field Experiment of How American Churches Welcome Newcomers.
    Bradley R. E. Wright, Michael Wallace, Annie Scola Wisnesky, Christopher M. Donnelly, Stacy Missari, Christine Zozula.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 22, 2015
    This article reports the results of a nationwide audit study testing how Christian churches welcome potential newcomers to their churches as a function of newcomers’ race and ethnicity. We sent email inquiries to 3,120 churches across the United States. The emails were ostensibly from someone moving to the area and looking for a new church to attend. That person's name was randomly varied to convey different racial and ethnic associations. In response to these inquiries, representatives from mainline Protestant churches—who generally embrace liberal, egalitarian attitudes toward race relations—actually demonstrated the most discriminatory behavior. They responded most frequently to emails with white‐sounding names, somewhat less frequently to black‐ or Hispanic‐sounding names, and much less to Asian‐sounding names. They also sent shorter, less welcoming responses to nonwhite names. In contrast, evangelical Protestant and Catholic churches showed little variation across treatment groups in their responses. These findings underscore the role of homophily, organizational homogeneity, and the costs of racial integration in perpetuating the racial segregation of American religious life.
    September 22, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12193   open full text
  • Religious Experiences of GBTQ Mormon Males.
    William S. Bradshaw, Tim B. Heaton, Ellen Decoo, John P. Dehlin, Renee V. Galliher, Katherine A. Crowell.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 21, 2015
    This article examines the relationship between sexual orientation and religious experience of men from early adolescence to adulthood. Data have been obtained from an online survey of 1,042 males who were part of a larger sample of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) persons who are current or former members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‐Day Saints (LDS, Mormon). While early religious experience was essentially identical to that of heterosexuals, the gap between religious norms and experience widened as these men moved through early and mid‐adulthood. Those who married did so at a later age, and experienced a high rate of divorce. Continued participation, integration, and conformity to LDS ideals was not attributable to faith in, or a departure from, fundamental doctrinal belief. Instead, the responsible variable was sexual orientation, measured by the Kinsey Scale scores across behavior, attraction, and identity. For those near the exclusively homosexual end of the spectrum, the failure to change sexual orientation after intense effort over many years resulted in loss of belonging, belief, and participation, along with increased negative emotions and a sense of mistreatment.
    September 21, 2015   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12181   open full text
  • Hoping for a Godly (White) Family: How Desire for Religious Heritage Affects Whites’ Attitudes Toward Interracial Marriage.
    Samuel L. Perry.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. March 04, 2014
    This study examines how a desire to pass on religious heritage shapes whites’ attitudes toward interracial marriage for their children. Utilizing national survey data (Baylor Religion Survey 2007), I estimate ordered logit regression models to examine the extent to which whites’ desire to have their children and children's spouses share their religion affects attitudes toward their hypothetical daughters marrying blacks, Latinos, or Asians, net of other factors. Analyses reveal that whites who consider it more important that their children and children's spouses share their religion are less comfortable with their daughters marrying blacks, Latinos, or Asians. These effects are robust to the inclusion of measures for religiosity, political ideology, intimate interracial experiences, and other sociodemographic correlates. These findings suggest that, for whites, religious heritage has a clear ethno‐racial component. The greater their desire for descendants to share the same religious views, the more whites would prefer that these descendants themselves be white, indicating that, for many white Americans, religious heritage is equated with whiteness. I conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for research on religion and interracial families.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12079   open full text
  • Shrouded: Islam, War, and Holy War in Southeast Asia.
    Shane Barter, Ian Zatkin‐Osburn.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. March 04, 2014
    The relationship between Islam and war has been the focus of lively debates. While terrorism experts might find a holy war wherever they look, others deny the role of faith in motivating violence. While no conflict is entirely inspired by faith, nor is any conflict entirely without it, the degree of religious motivation matters a great deal. How does one gauge the religiosity of a given conflict? We identify three dominant approaches: citing scripture, citing militant leaders, and quantifying religious divisions. While each approach makes valuable contributions, none help us to understand the degree to which a given struggle is understood by Muslim communities to be sacred. Based on rural fieldwork in three Southeast Asian secessionist conflicts, this article provides a series of empirical indicators of religious conflict: the religious credentials of rebel leaders, recruitment networks, public discourse, and burial practices. Burial practices for fallen rebels provide especially novel insights into how conflicts are understood by local religious officials and Muslim communities, offering a new window into understanding religiosity as perceived by internal audiences.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12080   open full text
  • Compassionate Conservatives? Evangelicals, Economic Conservatism, and National Identity.
    Lydia Bean.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. March 04, 2014
    In the United States, white evangelicals are more economically conservative than other Americans. It is commonly assumed that white evangelicals oppose redistributive social policies because of their individualistic theology. Yet Canadian evangelicals are just as supportive of redistributive social policy as other Canadians, even though they share the same tools of conservative Protestant theology. To solve this puzzle, I use multi‐sited ethnography to compare how two evangelical congregations in the United States and Canada talked about poverty and the role of government. In both countries, evangelicals made sense of their religious responsibilities to “the poor” by reference to national identity. Evangelicals used their theological tools differently in the United States and Canada because different visions of national solidarity served as cultural anchors for religious discourse about poverty. To understand the political and civic effects of religion, scholars need to consider the varied ways that religious groups imagine national community within religious practice.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12087   open full text
  • Religion and Political Decision Making.
    Michael S. Evans.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. March 04, 2014
    Influential political theorists suggest that religious differences in political life may be overcome through shared commitment to political processes. In this article, I subject the underlying assumptions of this proposition to empirical inquiry. When faced with substantive conflict over policy outcomes, do religious persons defer to a political process for resolution? And if so, to which political process do they defer? Through a novel interview exercise with 61 respondents from a variety of religious backgrounds, I find a general willingness to defer to a legitimate political process, even if it results in an undesirable outcome that violates religious (or other) political preferences. However, I also find that a political process need not be democratic to be seen as legitimate, and that process preferences do not map onto religious differences.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12088   open full text
  • Generating Trust in Congregations: Engagement, Exchange, and Social Networks.
    Jeffrey M. Seymour, Michael R. Welch, Karen Monique Gregg, Jessica Collett.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. March 04, 2014
    The relationship between religion and trust is complex and there is little consensus on why, in general, religious people appear to be more trusting than their unaffiliated peers. Most research on religion and trust focuses on differences between traditions and denominations, which offers rather limited insight into the genesis of trust for religious persons. In this study, we draw on recent theoretical developments in social psychology to explore how specific patterns of social interactions within congregations enhance within‐congregation trust among members to the benefit of both churches and individuals. Using survey data from the Portraits of American Life Study, we find that the positive relationship between religiosity and trust is driven less by religious beliefs or practices and more by particular characteristics of micro‐level processes that occur in churches (e.g., closeness of relationships to religious leaders, density of congregational ties, and both giving and receiving aid from other congregation members). In light of research on social learning and trust, we also discuss the potential benefits of this particularized trust for individuals’ levels of generalized trust.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12083   open full text
  • The Impact of International Migration on Home Churches: The Mar Thoma Syrian Christian Church in India.
    Prema Kurien.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. March 04, 2014
    Based on qualitative, multisited research, this article examines the impacts of short‐ and long‐term international migration to the Middle East and the West on the Mar Thoma Syrian Christian demonination of Kerala. Migrants and their foreign‐born children have new demands and expectations, and significant financial contributions have led to adjustments in the orientation and functioning of the denomination and its clergy. Large‐scale emigration has also had indirect effects. International networks and the economic affluence of the population, along with a rise in social problems caused by migration and consumerism, have led to the rise of evangelical and charismatic transdenominational churches in Kerala that challenge the functioning of established Christian denominations such as the Mar Thoma. Church leaders have been trying to bring about changes to address these developments, but are constrained by the tradition, structure, and the mission of the churches. I draw on theories of organizational religious change and theories of transnationalism to explain the process of social change in Kerala, also addressing some limitations of these theories.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12082   open full text
  • Attributions in a Spiritual Healing Context: An Archival Analysis of a 1920s Healing Movement.
    Ryan J. Williams, Fraser N. Watts.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. March 04, 2014
    Research on religious attributions has been limited by a preoccupation with disentangling “religious” from “naturalistic” attributions and a failure to capture the attributions that people make in response to meaningful events. Thirty years of research has shown that even under optimum conditions religious attributions are rare compared to naturalistic ones. This research draws on unique archival materials comprising letters written to the Panacea Society containing self‐reported effects of a spiritual healing treatment based on water‐taking practices. This analysis examined attributions over time among a sample of letter writers (N = 19) from the 1920s using the Leeds Attributional Coding System to examine patterns of attributions that correspondents made in response to improvement and worsening of health outcomes. In line with previous research, religious attributions were more common for positive outcomes than negative outcomes. Contrary to previous research, religious attributions accounted for the majority of attributions made compared with nonreligious attributions. We discuss the implications for future research in studying attributions in real‐life meaningful settings and in expanding the repertoire of attributions to include religious ritual and community.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12085   open full text
  • The Complexity of Quest in Emerging Adults’ Religiosity, Well‐Being, and Identity.
    Kaye V. Cook, Cynthia N. Kimball, Kathleen C. Leonard, Chris J. Boyatzis.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. March 04, 2014
    The construct of quest as measured by the Quest Scale raises complexities that this study addressed with online surveys measuring religiosity, ego identity, and well‐being of graduates from two Christian colleges. Intrinsic questers (those above the scale midpoint in intrinsic and quest scores but below the extrinsic midpoint) made up over half of those high in intrinsic religiosity and did not differ in Christian orthodoxy, religious identity, religious coping, or well‐being from the pure intrinsics (those high in intrinsic religiosity). Indiscriminately pro‐religious questing individuals (those high in intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity and quest) were less religious and showed poorer coping than intrinsic questers. Quest appears to be a reasonable measure of religious orientation, improving prediction of Christian orthodoxy, religious identity, and religious coping, and was more highly correlated with ego identity exploration than with stress. In association with intrinsic religiosity quest does not appear to indicate weak religiosity or poor well‐being. Instead, intrinsic questers may pursue a distinctive developmental trajectory, a path of existential searching by which emerging adults manage the demands of contemporary culture while maintaining a mature faith.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12086   open full text
  • Religiosity and Spirituality as Resiliency Resources: Moderation, Mediation, or Moderated Mediation?
    Kirby K. Reutter, Silvia M. Bigatti.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. March 04, 2014
    A growing body of literature indicates a modestly positive association between religiosity and spirituality as predictors of psychological health (anxiety and depression), suggesting they serve as personal resiliency factors. The purpose of this study was to expand our understanding of the relationships among these constructs. Using Lazarus's Transactional Model of Stress as a theoretical framework, we examined: (a) the extent to which spirituality and religiosity mediated and/or moderated the association between perceived stress and psychological health and (b) whether there was a moderated (religiosity) mediation (spirituality) between stress and health. The Perceived Stress Scale, Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale, Religious Commitment Inventory, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale were administered to measure the following constructs: stress, spirituality, religiosity, and psychological health. This study utilized a nonexperimental, quantitative, correlational, cross‐sectional, moderated‐mediation design, and included a convenience sample of 331 research participants. Both spirituality and religiosity moderated stress and health. However, only spirituality partially mediated the relationship. In addition, religiosity did not moderate the mediating effects of spirituality. Overall, this study confirmed the role of both religiosity and spirituality as effective resiliency resources.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12081   open full text
  • Do Religious Affirmations, Religious Commitments, or General Commitments Mitigate the Negative Effects of Exposure to Thin Ideals?
    Mary Inman, Erica Iceberg, Laura McKeel.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. March 04, 2014
    Western pressures for thinness tell women that having a thin body makes a person worthy. Two factors that may provide alternative means of self‐worth are religion and general commitment to a meaningful goal. This study experimentally tested whether religious‐affirming statements buffered against exposure to thin models for everyone, or only for women with strong religious commitment. It also examined the relationships among religious commitment, general commitment, and body satisfaction. One hundred eleven women at a religious‐affiliated college completed the commitment scales and baseline body measures. They were later randomly assigned to read one set of affirming statements, after which they then completed body measures again. Results showed that religious commitment buffered against exposure to ultrathin models. Women who were strongly religiously committed and who read religious statements that affirmed the body showed higher body esteem. Correlation results showed that general commitment was positively related to body esteem, body satisfaction, and healthy dieting. Religious commitment was positively related to body esteem and body satisfaction. Results are discussed in relation to schemas and depth of processing. Practical implications are discussed.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12089   open full text
  • Religio‐Spiritual Participation in Two American Indian Populations.
    Eva Marie Garroutte, Janette Beals, Heather Orton Anderson, Jeffrey A. Henderson, Patricia Nez‐Henderson, Jacob Thomas, Calvin Croy, Spero M. Manson,.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. March 04, 2014
    Following a previous investigation of religio‐spiritual beliefs in American Indians, this article examined prevalence and correlates of religio‐spiritual participation in two tribes in the Southwest and Northern Plains (N = 3,084). Analysis suggested a “religious profile” characterized by strong participation across three traditions: aboriginal, Christian, and Native American Church. However, sociodemographic variables that have reliably predicted participation in the general American population, notably gender and age, frequently failed to achieve significance in multivariate analyses for each tradition. Religio‐spiritual participation was strongly and significantly related to belief salience for all traditions. Findings suggest that correlates of religious participation may be unique among American Indians, consistent with their distinctive religious profile. Results promise to inform researchers’ efforts to understand and theorize about religio‐spiritual behavior. They also provide tribal communities with practical information that might assist them in harnessing social networks to confront collective challenges through community‐based participatory research collaborations.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12084   open full text
  • Asynchrony in Attitudes Toward Abortion and Gay Rights: The Challenge to Values Alignment.
    Michele Dillon.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. March 04, 2014
    Political commentators tend to assume that Americans who share a particular religious affiliation think similarly about values issues and that values questions are aligned. Although religious affiliation is a strong predictor of attitudes toward abortion and gay rights, there is differentiation within denominational subgroups with respect to both; for example, while majorities of mainline Protestants and Catholics favor gay marriage, many of their respective co‐religionists do not. Further, aggregate survey data shows asynchrony in within‐group attitudes on abortion and gay rights; for example, whereas Hispanic Catholics are more likely to support gay marriage than legal abortion, black Protestants are more likely to support legal abortion than gay marriage. Abortion and gay equality are discrete issues and give rise to divergent attitudes based on the lived reality of different ethnoreligious groups. These findings challenge the utility of the construct of the “values voter,” and underscore that abortion and gay rights should be recognized as separate public policy domains.
    March 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12096   open full text
  • Intrinsic Religiosity and Volunteering During Emerging Adulthood: A Comparison of Mormons with Catholics and Non‐Catholic Christians.
    Kathryn A. Johnson, Adam B. Cohen, Morris A. Okun.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. December 04, 2013
    Emerging adulthood is a period when religious beliefs are likely to be shaped. Studying the influence of religious culture on prosocial behavior among emerging adults aids our understanding of the process and effects of religious socialization. Mormon religious culture places a particularly strong emphasis on caring for family and fellow Mormons. Because intrinsically religious individuals internalize their religious community's values, we hypothesized that the relationship between intrinsic religiosity and volunteering would be stronger among Mormons than among Catholics or non‐Catholic Christians. We tested this hypothesis using a sample of Mormon (N = 118), Catholic (N = 304), and non‐Catholic Christian (N = 542) emerging adults (18–29 year olds) across three volunteering contexts (religious, family, and secular). Controlling for extrinsic religiosity and worship attendance, the relationship between intrinsic religiosity and frequency of volunteering was greater among Mormons than Catholics and non‐Catholic Christians in the context of religious and family volunteering. However, intrinsic religiosity was not a significant predictor of secular volunteering. Our findings suggest that Mormon culture influences the frequency and type of volunteering engaged in by young Mormon adults.
    December 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12068   open full text
  • Volunteering Among Latter‐Day Saints.
    Van Evans, Daniel W. Curtis, Ram A. Cnaan.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. December 04, 2013
    In this article, we shed light on the volunteering behaviors of Latter‐Day Saints (Mormons). While some information was known about this group and its volunteering practices, detailed and reliable data were not available. This is the first study by a secular research institution to be given permission by the church to collect data within Latter‐Day Saint congregations. We found a high rate of volunteering by almost all members, which was mostly, but not only, for religious purposes. About half the volunteering comes from fulfilling “callings,” while members initiate the other half. We found variations in volunteering based on the studied regions, age, income, education, gender, and generational membership. These findings provide the first reliable and detailed information regarding Latter‐Day Saint volunteering and may serve as a springboard for future research on the pro‐social behaviors of various religious groups.
    December 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12074   open full text
  • “Tell Me Who Your Enemies Are”: Government Reports About the “Cult” Phenomenon in Israel.
    Marianna Ruah‐Midbar, Adam Klin‐Oron.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. December 04, 2013
    Between 1982 and 2011, four Israeli governmental reports addressing ostensible dangers from “cults” (new religious movements, or NRMs) were issued. The 1980s reports use a collectivist discourse, in which the state sees itself as defending the collective's borders from external threats and representing various sectors while seeking consensual values. The 1990s report marks an interim stage in which the state tries to balance individual liberties with sectoral interests. The 2011 report focuses solely on harm to individuals and is the harshest of the four. The reports reflect milestones in three processes of change that have taken place in Israeli society: from a collectivist‐hegemonic ethos to a multisectoral one; from a focus upon society to a focus on the individual; and from nationalistic values to universalistic ones. At every point in time, NRMs represented a different perceived threat to Israeli society. We explain how multisectoralism brings about both tolerance toward new religious phenomena and fierce anti‐cultic activity.
    December 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12067   open full text
  • The Effect of New Religious Movement Affiliation and Disaffiliation on Reflexivity and Sense of Self.
    Dominiek Coates.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. December 04, 2013
    Challenging the contemporary belief that emotional damage invariably results from new religious movement (NRM) participation, this study shows that membership in and exit from a world‐rejecting NRM may initiate the development of increased reflexivity and a personal sense of self for some former members. Out of a sample of 23 former members, 12 participants were identified who report prior histories of “other‐directedness” and for whom exit from an NRM instigated a shift toward increased independence and individuality. Employing symbolic interactionist theories of self, this article conceptualizes the process through which these participants may be understood to have gained in reflexivity and personal autonomy. Four case studies demonstrate how the identity loss and uncertainty suffered following exit can “shock” former members into self‐awareness and reflexivity, instigating a period of active learning about personal emotions, thoughts, and beliefs that leads to the active construction of a stronger personal self.
    December 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12069   open full text
  • New Spirituality and Social Engagement.
    Joantine Berghuijs, Cok Bakker, Jos Pieper.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. December 04, 2013
    New spirituality has often been accused of being egocentric and thus lacking incentives for social engagement. The discussion on this subject is tangled because authors differ in specifying who they are writing about and what the criticism is. After seeking an adequate demarcation of the target group (people involved in new spirituality), we established a concept of social engagement that distinguishes between behavior that is and that is not driven by egocentric motivation. Using measures based on this conceptual model, we surveyed a representative sample of the Dutch population. We found that on most measures people involved in new spirituality are less socially engaged than affiliated or traditionally religious people but more engaged than “secular” people. However, they are more committed to organizations for environmental protection, peace, or animal rights than others. Overall, demographic factors—especially education, age, and gender—are stronger predictors for social engagement than religious and spiritual beliefs, experiences, or practices. The most important spirituality variable that predicts some social engagement measures is connectedness with self, others, and nature.
    December 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12062   open full text
  • Does Religion Suppress, Socialize, Soothe, or Support? Exploring Religiosity's Influence on Crime.
    Jonathan R. Brauer, Olena Antonaccio, Charles R. Tittle.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. December 04, 2013
    A negative association between religiosity and crime is commonly documented in the United States and other Western contexts. In this study, we examine associations between religiosity and criminal probability among randomly selected survey respondents in a non‐Western Christian context (Lviv, Ukraine) and a non‐Western Islamic context (Dhaka, Bangladesh). In addition, we explore whether religiosity is associated in these contexts with various theoretical mechanisms identified in prior research, including self‐control, social control, moral beliefs, negative emotions, and social support. Results confirm that religiosity is negatively correlated with projected criminal probability in non‐Western contexts as well as among both Christian and Muslim respondents. Furthermore, net of social and demographic characteristics, religiosity appears to indirectly influence crime through moral beliefs and, to a lesser extent, through self‐control and informal social control.
    December 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12063   open full text
  • Religion and Volunteering Over the Adult Life Course.
    Joseph B. Johnston.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. December 04, 2013
    Previous studies have not longitudinally assessed whether religion is related to individuals’ movement into volunteering activities across the adult life course. Using four waves of panel data, I present evidence that religion is associated with individuals’ movement into religious institution and nonreligious institutional forms of volunteerism—volunteering for a religious congregation or other religious organization, and volunteering for a nonreligious institution, respectively. I consider the general religious mechanisms of changes in motivation to volunteer through enhanced religious beliefs and increased opportunities to volunteer through greater religious service attendance and involvement. Increased religious belief and attendance result in a greater probability that individuals engage in religious institution volunteerism. Religious institution volunteering increases the likelihood of movement into other formal volunteering over the adult life course. This analysis offers evidence that religious institutions are feeder systems, as increased involvement yields more opportunities for formal volunteerism over the adult life course, irrespective of underlying personality traits. Additionally, the findings suggest that religious mechanisms may operate differently across Christian religious traditions.
    December 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12065   open full text
  • Race, Belonging, and Participation in Religious Congregations.
    Brandon C. Martinez, Kevin D. Dougherty.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. December 04, 2013
    Significant effort has gone into understanding and promoting racial diversity in congregations. Still, uniting worshippers of different races remains a challenging endeavor. Even congregations that successfully attract worshippers of different races often have difficulty sustaining their multiracial composition. This study contributes to the discussion of race and religion by examining racial group differences in belonging and participation in congregations. Drawing on organizational ecology theory, we develop four hypotheses to test whether and how racial group size corresponds to congregational commitment. Results of multilevel modeling using 2001 U.S. Congregational Life Survey data reveal that those who are a part of a congregation's largest racial group possess a stronger sense of belonging and participate at a deeper level than congregants of other races. Moreover, differences in belonging and participation by racial group persist regardless of group size.
    December 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12073   open full text
  • Sources of Social Support: Examining Congregational Involvement, Private Devotional Activities, and Congregational Context.
    Jennifer M. McClure.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. December 04, 2013
    Previous studies examining the relationship between religion and providing social support have claimed that religious involvement and social networks explain the higher levels of social support among religious Americans. By limiting its focus to attenders of religious congregations, this study seeks to understand if private devotional activities and congregational context also matter for predicting the provision of social support in a highly religious sample. Utilizing a sample of attenders and their congregations from the 2008/2009 U.S. Congregational Life Survey, a national survey representative of American congregations, this study uses multilevel models to examine the relationships that congregational involvement, private devotional activities, and congregational context have with providing social support. Results suggest that, among attenders of religious congregations, congregational involvement and private devotional activities matter for predicting the provision of social support, but two aspects of congregational context—size and theology—do not.
    December 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12076   open full text
  • Decline and Conflict: Causes and Consequences of Leadership Transitions in Religious Congregations.
    Erica J. Dollhopf, Christopher P. Scheitle.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. December 04, 2013
    Changes in leadership can be difficult for any organization. Leadership transitions in religious congregations might be especially challenging given the personal relationships involved and the spiritual dimension of a leader's position. This complexity often makes it difficult to separate the reasons for the transition from the impacts of the transition. For example, loss of membership and congregational conflict can be both a cause and a consequence of leadership change. Using the 2006–2007 National Congregations Study, this research explores how membership decline and congregational conflict are associated with leadership transitions in religious congregations. Although we find that leadership transitions are associated with conflict and membership decline, we also find that certain factors, such as whether the leader comes from within the congregation and context of the transition, moderate these associations.
    December 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12075   open full text
  • Bereavement and Religion Online: Stillbirth, Neonatal Loss, and Parental Religiosity.
    Janel Kragt Bakker, Jenell Paris.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. December 04, 2013
    Stillbirth and neonatal death often trigger immense and long‐lasting grief in parents. These life‐altering losses both call upon and call into question parents’ religious beliefs and practices. This qualitative research examines the impact of stillbirth and neonatal death on parental religiosity, broadly conceived to include personal spirituality and any religious affiliation, including atheism. It examines religion online, a nontraditional but important social context for grief, especially regarding statistically rare tragedies such as stillbirth and neonatal death. Content analysis of postings on a hub website for “babyloss” parents yields four major themes: religious disorientation, religious reorientation, changed relationships with others, and a quest for meaning.
    December 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12066   open full text
  • Do People Who Believe in God Report More Meaning in Their Lives? The Existential Effects of Belief.
    Stephen Cranney.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 04, 2013
    I conduct the first large‐N study explicitly exploring the association between belief in God and sense of purpose in life. This relationship, while often discussed informally, has received little empirical attention. Here, I use the General Social Survey to investigate how form of and confidence in belief in God is related to sense of purpose in life, as measured by a Likert item level of agreement with the statement “In my opinion, life does not serve any purpose.” Using logistic regression analysis, I find that those who indicate that they are confident in God's existence report a higher sense of purpose compared to nonbelievers, believers in a higher power, and those who believe but occasionally doubt.
    September 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12046   open full text
  • Religious Context and Prosociality: An Experimental Study from Valparaíso, Chile.
    Ali Ahmed, Osvaldo Salas.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 04, 2013
    Are people more prosocial in a religious context? We addressed this question through an experiment. We randomly placed participants in the control group in a neutral location (a lecture hall), and we placed participants in the experimental group in a religious location (a chapel). The participants then took part in a one‐shot three‐person public goods game, which measured participants’ degree of cooperativeness. The results showed that participants in the experimental group cooperated significantly more than did participants in the control group. Furthermore, participants’ beliefs about other participants’ cooperativeness were more positive in the experimental group than they were in the control group. Improved expectations of others partially explained the enhanced cooperation in the religious context. We found no main or interaction effect of self‐reported religiosity in the experiment.
    September 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12045   open full text
  • Are Muslims a Distinctive Minority? An Empirical Analysis of Religiosity, Social Attitudes, and Islam.
    Valerie A. Lewis, Ridhi Kashyap.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 04, 2013
    Scholarly and public discourses on Muslim immigrants in Europe have questioned if Islam is an impediment to sociocultural adaptation and whether Muslims are a distinctive group in their religiosity and social values. We use a new survey of 480 British Muslims in conjunction with the British Social Attitudes Survey to examine differences between Muslim and non‐Muslim Britons on religiosity (practice, belief, salience) and moral and social issues regarding gender, abortion, and homosexuality. Muslims are more religious than other Britons, including both British Christians and religious “nones.” Muslims also are more conservative than other Britons across the range of social and moral attitudes. Multivariate analysis shows, however, that much of the difference on moral issues is due to socioeconomic disadvantage and high religiosity among Muslims. Although being a highly religious group in an otherwise secular country renders Muslims distinctive, factors that predict social conservatism among all Britons—high religiosity and low SES—apply similarly to Muslims.
    September 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12044   open full text
  • Examining Trends in Muslim Self‐Identification and Mosque Attendance Among People of Turkish and Moroccan Descent in the Netherlands, 1997–2009.
    Fransje Smits, Wout Ultee.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 04, 2013
    This study examines the extent to which Muslim self‐identification and mosque attendance have changed in the period 1997–2009 among people of Turkish and Moroccan descent in the Netherlands. Mainly trendless fluctuations are found. Overall, Muslim self‐identification seems to very slightly increase and mosque attendance seems to very slightly decrease. We examined the extent to which factors that are important according to theories and previous research explain or enlarge these differences over time. The factors about which we hypothesize are largely unable to explain differences over time in Muslim self‐identification and mosque attendance.
    September 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12047   open full text
  • Network Hubs and Opportunity for Complex Thinking Among Young British Muslims.
    Ryan J. Williams.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 04, 2013
    This study examines whether individuals in a network esteem peers who think in integratively complex ways about religious issues in the context of a small‐group educational course comprised of young British Muslims. Integrative complexity (IC) measures the degree to which an individual's information processing is characterized by (a) rigid, black‐and‐white thinking or (b) ability to recognize the validity of, and integrate, multiple perspectives. A novel measurement procedure was developed for this research called the Social Field Generator. Results from seven groups (n = 55) showed that (a) participants with levels of IC were described by their peers with more positive sentiment than their low‐IC counterparts; (b) the higher the IC scores of participants, the closer peers felt toward them; and (c) the highest IC individuals were consistently selected as sources of advice, whereas the lowest IC individuals were not viewed as sources of advice. This research shows that within an educational environment aimed at promoting complex thinking, group processes and grassroots religious leadership can encourage higher levels of IC as a group norm.
    September 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12050   open full text
  • Rejection of Darwinian Evolution Among Churchgoers in England: The Effects of Psychological Type.
    Andrew Village, Sylvia Baker.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 04, 2013
    Rejection of Darwinian evolution (implying rejection of the common origin of all species, including humans) was assessed among 1,100 churchgoers from a range of Christian denominations in England. The main predictors of rejecting evolution were denominational affiliation and attendance. Individuals from Pentecostal or evangelical denominations were twice as likely to reject evolution compared with those from Anglican or Methodist churches. In all denominations, higher attendance was associated with greater rejection of evolution. Education in general, and theological education in particular, had some effect on reducing rejection, but this was not dependent on having specifically scientific or biological educational qualifications. Psychological type preferences for sensing over intuition and for thinking over feeling also predicted greater rejection, after allowing for the association of type preferences and general religiosity. Reasons for the association between psychological type and rejection of evolution are discussed in the light of the known characteristics of different function preferences.
    September 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12049   open full text
  • Character Strengths and Deep Connections Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Spiritual and Secular Pathways to Resistance Among Volunteers.
    Amy L. Ai, Roslyn Richardson, Carol Plummer, Christopher G. Ellison, Catherine Lemieux, Terrence N. Tice, Bu Huang.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 04, 2013
    This study investigated a conceptual model with two pathways, altruism and perceived spiritual support, leading to resilience among student volunteers following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (H‐KR). Both strengths share the sense of deep connections. Parallel pathways with the two major constructs were estimated using structural equation modeling, adjusting for demographics and peritraumatic emotional reactions. The two indicators may have served as a protective mechanism for all volunteers despite differing racial/cultural backgrounds. The potential protection of these strength factors was mediated through optimism and hope. Resilience among minority volunteers was associated more with faith‐related strengths, as indicated in the relevant pathway that also contributed to their altruistic actions. The resilience of white volunteers, however, was directly associated with altruism, a strength that does depend heavily on religious beliefs. Further, the modification index suggested a direct path from race to depression.
    September 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12043   open full text
  • Religious Prosociality and Aggression: It's Real.
    Joanna Blogowska, Catherine Lambert, Vassilis Saroglou.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 04, 2013
    Individual religiosity relates to prosocial attitudes, behavioral intentions, and behaviors of minimal (no/low cost; limited to in‐group members) prosociality in hypothetical situations. Yet evidence on religious prosociality through other‐oriented, costly helping behavior in real life is still to be documented. Similarly, religiosity relates to cognitive, emotional, and attitudinal components of prejudice toward moral out‐groups. Evidence on real behavior of prejudice is nevertheless still needed. In two experiments using the same measure of religiosity and samples from the same population, religiosity predicted helping, in a real‐life context, of an in‐group member in need (Experiment 1) as well as overt and direct aggression by means of allocating hot sauce to a gay, but not to a neutral, target (Experiment 2). Religious prosociality and aggression are real, concern distinct kinds of targets, and are at the heart of personal religiosity.
    September 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12048   open full text
  • The Existential Function of Intrinsic Religiousness: Moderation of Effects of Priming Religion on Intercultural Tolerance and Afterlife Anxiety.
    Daryl R. Tongeren, Jennifer M. Raad, Daniel N. McIntosh, Jessica Pae.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 04, 2013
    Managing existential concerns is theorized to be a key function of religion. We posit that priming religion should be related to greater existential security for those high in intrinsic religiosity. In Experiment 1, priming religion increased intercultural tolerance among individuals who were highly intrinsically religious but decreased it for those low in intrinsic religiousness. In Experiment 2, intrinsic religiousness again moderated the effects of the prime, suggesting that priming religion resulted in attenuated afterlife anxiety for intrinsically religious individuals but greater anxiety for individuals low in intrinsic religiousness. Religious reminders appeared to provide existential security—evidenced by tolerance and reduced death anxiety—only to those high in intrinsic religiousness and can be threatening to those low in intrinsic religiousness. Existential outcomes are a specific case in which intrinsic religiousness can moderate the effects of religious primes, suggesting that religion plays a different existential role for different people.
    September 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12053   open full text
  • Representations of Religious Words: Insights for Religious Priming Research.
    Ryan S. Ritter, Jesse Lee Preston.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 04, 2013
    Researchers often expose participants to a series of words (e.g., religion, God, faith) to activate religious concepts and observe their subsequent effects on people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This research has revealed many important effects of experimentally manipulated religious cognition in domains ranging from prosocial behavior to prejudice. However, it is not exactly clear what constitutes a “religious cognition,” and no research has yet investigated conceptual distinctions between different kinds of religious prime words. In the present research we used a card‐sorting task to examine laypeople's subjective understanding of religious prime words, and the central categories or dimensions of these religious concepts. Using multidimensional scaling, property fitting, and cluster analysis methods to analyze the proximities among the words, we find evidence for the mental representation of three relatively distinct kinds of religious concepts: agents (e.g., God, angel), spiritual/abstract (e.g., faith, belief), and institutional/concrete (e.g., shrine, scripture). Theoretical and methodological impli‐cations for religious priming research are discussed.
    September 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12042   open full text
  • Gendered Organizations and Inequality Regimes: Gender, Homosexuality, and Inequality Within Religious Congregations.
    Andrew L. Whitehead.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 04, 2013
    Building upon Acker's (. Hierarchies, jobs, bodies: A theory of gendered organizations. Gender and Society 4(2):139–58; 2006. Inequality regimes: Gender, class, and race in organizations. Gender and Society 20(4):441–64) theory of gendered organizations and inequality regimes, this study investigates the extent to which inequality in gender and sexuality are linked within religious congregations. Using a nationally representative sample of congregations in the United States, the results demonstrate that a congregation's stance toward allowing women to serve as head clergyperson is significantly associated with its acceptance of gays and lesbians as members or leaders within the congregation. This research extends existing literature in three ways. First, it offers support for the utility of the concept of inequality regimes for investigating dimensions of inequality in addition to gender. Second, it provides evidence of the intersection of gender and sexuality within religious congregations, thereby contributing to the growing dialogue on congregational responses to homosexuality. Finally, these findings propose a number of avenues for future research regarding gender, sexuality, and organizations.
    September 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12051   open full text
  • Outsourcing Moral Authority: The Internal Secularization of Evangelicals’ Anti‐Pornography Narratives.
    Jeremy N. Thomas.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. September 04, 2013
    Based on content analysis of the popular evangelical magazine Christianity Today, I show that while evangelicals' outward opposition to pornography has remained steady and robust across the period 1956 to 2010, nonetheless, during this same time, evangelicals' anti‐pornography narratives have become increasingly secular. Through using and expanding Chaves's notion of internal secularization, I demonstrate how these narratives have become decreasingly legitimated through religious forms of moral authority such as scriptural prohibitions and derivative ideas about God's plan for society, and increasingly legitimated through secular forms of moral authority such as humanistic conceptions of individual rights and of psychological health. I refer to this type of internal secularization as the process of outsourcing moral authority, and I discuss the theoretical significance of this process for potential investigations of a range of other moral narratives.
    September 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12052   open full text
  • Religion and Whites’ Attitudes Toward Interracial Marriage with African Americans, Asians, and Latinos.
    Samuel L. Perry.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 04, 2013
    Religious factors have been shown to influence whites’ attitudes toward interracial marriage, but this relationship has yet to be studied in depth. This study examines how religious affiliation, beliefs, practices, and congregational composition affect whites’ attitudes toward interracial marriage with African Americans, Asians, and Latinos. Employing data from Wave 2 of the Baylor Religion Survey, I estimate ordered logit regression models to examine the influence of religious factors on whites’ attitudes toward racial exogamy, net of sociodemographic controls. Analyses reveal that, relative to evangelicals, religiously unaffiliated whites report greater support of intermarriage with all minority groups. Biblical literalists are less likely to support interracial marriage to Asians and Latinos. However, whites who frequently engage in devotional religious practices are more likely to support interracial marriage with all racial groups, as are whites who attend multiracial congregations. My findings suggest that the relationship between religion and whites’ attitudes toward racial exogamy is more complex than previously thought and that the influence of religious practices and congregational composition should not be overlooked.
    June 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12020   open full text
  • “Secularization of Consciousness” or Alternative Opportunities? The Impact of Economic Growth on Religious Belief and Practice in 13 European Countries.
    Jochen Hirschle.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 04, 2013
    This research note contributes to an evaluation of the validity of secularization theory by studying the relationship between economic modernization and patterns of religious change. Both the disenchantment narrative of Berger and Weber and the existential security perspective of Inglehart hypothesize that economic development should be accompanied by a weakening of religious values. Using macro‐level panel regressions, my analysis reveals that while economic growth is directly associated with diminishing church attendance rates, it is not directly associated with a decline in belief. The relation between economic growth and religious decline is therefore not primarily mediated by a “secularization of consciousness.” Findings instead indicate that economic prosperity leads to a change in consumption patterns on the part of individuals due to increased income and availability of alternative, secular opportunities to meet needs previously fulfilled by traditional religion. A decline in religious belief may occur as a secondary consequence of this behavioral change, since diminishing worship attendance rates reduce the influence of religion on value socialization.
    June 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12030   open full text
  • A Religious Profile of American Entrepreneurs.
    Kevin D. Dougherty, Jenna Griebel, Mitchell J. Neubert, Jerry Z. Park.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 04, 2013
    The entrepreneur is a celebrated figure in American society. These innovative risk‐takers hold an influential place in the economy and in popular culture. Substantial research has gone into identifying characteristics associated with these individuals, but research on entrepreneurs and religion is surprisingly sparse and inconsistent. Using national survey data, we examine religious affiliation, belief, and behavior for Americans who have started or are trying to start a business. American entrepreneurs appear no different than nonentrepreneurs in religious affiliation, belief in God, or religious service attendance. They do tend to see God as more personal, pray more frequently, and are more likely to attend a place of worship that encourages business activity. A discussion of implications concludes the research note.
    June 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12026   open full text
  • Counting the Faithful: Measuring Local Religious Contexts in the United States.
    Chaeyoon Lim.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 04, 2013
    This study compares the estimates of religious composition of counties in the United States from three independent datasets: the 2010 Religious Congregational Membership Study (RCMS); the 2010 Infogroup Congregational membership data (INFO); and the Gallup Daily Poll—a large national survey with more than 1.3 million respondents. My analyses suggest that the estimates for most major religious groups from the three datasets are highly correlated to each other. In addition, the measures of local religious compositions from the three datasets successfully predict the religious composition of friendship networks in a large, nationally representative survey. These findings suggest that RCMS, the most widely used data source for measuring local religious composition in the United States, has a convergent and predictive validity. My analyses, however, also highlight important challenges in measuring geographic distributions of non‐Christian populations, as well as total religious populations in all religious traditions.
    June 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12027   open full text
  • The Growing Social and Moral Conflict Between Conservative Protestantism and Science.
    John H. Evans.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 04, 2013
    Due to conservative Protestant elites challenging scientists in the public sphere, and prominent scientists attacking religion, scholars have claimed that there is an increasing conflict between conservative Protestants and science. However, these claims have never been empirically investigated and these general claims do not specify what conflict is actually about. In this article I use the General Social Survey from 1984 to 2010 to examine whether conservative Protestants are increasingly opposed to the social and moral influence of scientists. I find evidence for increasing opposition by biblical literalist conservative Protestants to the involvement of scientists in social debates about moral issues.
    June 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12022   open full text
  • Religious Involvement and Depression: Evidence for Curvilinear and Stress‐Moderating Effects Among Young Women in Rural China.
    Dedong Wei, Eric Y. Liu.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 04, 2013
    Debates about whether the relationship between religiousness and depression is nonlinear have continued, but no definitive conclusions thus far have been drawn. Unlike most previous research in this area, which has been based on U.S. populations, this study focuses on a sample of 882 young rural Chinese women. Results from analyses reveal an inverse U‐shaped relationship between intrinsic religiosity and depression. In addition, results show that intrinsic religiosity and religious activities exacerbate the deleterious effects of particular life events such as childbirth issues and marital conflicts. Implications of the findings for future studies on the subject are discussed.
    June 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12031   open full text
  • God and Governance: Development, State Capacity, and the Regulation of Religion.
    David T. Buckley, Luis Felipe Mantilla.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 04, 2013
    In this article, we propose a new approach to an old question: How does development affect religion‐state relations? We argue that because development increases states’ ability to effectively formulate and implement policy, it will be associated with greater state regulation of religion. This stands in contrast to predominant theories that examine development's negative impact on individual religiosity while largely overlooking the impact that development may have on state institutions. We test our theory using data drawn from over 160 countries, and demonstrate that the effect of economic development on state regulation of religion is consistently positive, substantively significant, and robust to alternative measurements and the inclusion of a broad range of controls. Statistical analysis also demonstrates that the correlation between development and state regulation of religion is primarily a result of economic development's impact on state capacity, rather than social dislocation or improved coordination by religious communities. Incorporating state capacity recasts the study of religious regulation—and suggests that economic growth is unlikely to take religion off the political agenda.
    June 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12025   open full text
  • Religion and Medicalization: The Case of ADHD.
    Kati Li.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 04, 2013
    As a medicalized condition, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) sparks considerable public controversy. Previous research has highlighted the importance of examining the factors that influence attitudes toward ADHD. This article examines an understudied factor, religion, and its relationship with ADHD attitudes. Using data from the 2002 General Social Survey National Stigma Study‐Children, this research finds that compared to the rest of the population, evangelical Christians are less likely to view ADHD as a real disease and to believe children with ADHD should be treated with medication. Results also demonstrate that evangelicals are more likely to think doctors are overmedicating children with common behavior problems and to think medication prevents families from working out problems themselves. On the other hand, church attendance is unrelated to beliefs about ADHD treatment but is positively associated with thinking ADHD is a real disease. These findings add new insights to the existing literature on religion and medicalization.
    June 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12023   open full text
  • Profiles of Anticipated Support: Religion's Place in the Composition of Americans’ Emotional Support Networks.
    Penny Edgell, Eric P. Tranby, Darin M. Mather.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 04, 2013
    In this article we analyze the role of religion in the composition of Americans’ networks of anticipated emotional support. Drawing on data from the National Survey of Religion and Family Life, which contains information on multiple sources of potential emotional support, we use latent class analysis to uncover four different anticipated support profiles, which are organized along two dimensions of variation: religiosity and breadth. We label these profiles religious, secular, broad, and limited. Our analyses demonstrate associations between these anticipated support profiles and a person's gender, family status, age, race, socioeconomic status, and religious involvement. For instance, we find that Catholics are more likely than non‐Catholics to have secular rather than religious support profiles, and African Americans tend to have profiles that are either religious or limited. Finally, we show that these profiles have implications for well‐being. We contribute to research on religion and emotional support by describing how religious and secular sources combine into overall anticipated support profiles. Our conclusion addresses the implications of these findings for current scholarship on religion and emotional support networks.
    June 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12021   open full text
  • Alcohol Reverses Religion's Prosocial Influence on Aggression.
    Aaron A. Duke, Peter R. Giancola.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 04, 2013
    The relationship between religion and violence is controversial. Discrepant findings exist between survey studies and the limited number of experimental investigations of religiosity's influence on aggressive behavior. We have attempted to resolve this discrepancy by addressing previous limitations in the literature and assessing a heretofore‐untested moderator of religiosity and aggression: alcohol intoxication. This investigation included a community sample of 251 men and 269 women randomly assigned to either an acute alcohol intoxication condition or a placebo condition. Participants completed a series of questions drawn from standardized instruments of religiosity and spirituality prior to competing on an aggression laboratory paradigm in which electric shocks were received from, and administered to, a fictitious opponent under the guise of a competitive reaction‐time task. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed a significant beverage‐by‐religiosity interaction. Religiosity predicted lower levels of aggression for participants in the placebo group and higher levels of aggression for intoxicated participants. Results indicated that high religiosity coupled with alcohol intoxication may be a risk factor for aggression. This novel finding may help to clarify previous discrepancies in studies of religiosity and aggression.
    June 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12029   open full text
  • Spiritual But Not Religious? Beyond Binary Choices in the Study of Religion.
    Nancy T. Ammerman.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 04, 2013
    “Spirituality” often has been framed in social science research as an alternative to organized “religion,” implicitly or explicitly extending theoretical arguments about the privatization of religion. This article uses in‐depth qualitative data from a religiously diverse U.S. sample to argue that this either/or distinction not only fails to capture the empirical reality of American religion, it does no justice to the complexity of spirituality. An inductive discursive analysis reveals four primary cultural “packages,” or ways in which people construct the meaning of spirituality in conversation: a Theistic Package tying spirituality to personal deities, an Extra‐Theistic Package locating spirituality in various naturalistic forms of transcendence, an Ethical Spirituality focusing on everyday compassion, and a contested Belief and Belonging Spirituality tied to cultural notions of religiosity. Spirituality, then, is neither a diffuse individualized phenomenon nor a single cultural alternative to “religion.” Analysis of the contested evaluations of Belief and Belonging Spirituality allows a window on the “moral boundary work” being done through identifying as “spiritual but not religious.” The empirical boundary between spirituality and religion is far more orous than is the moral and political one.
    June 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12024   open full text
  • Civil Religion and the Cultural Politics of National Identity in Obama's America.
    Rhys H. Williams.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. June 04, 2013
    American civil religion (ACR) burst on to the scholarly scene in 1967, and has been periodically revived as a source of analytic insight and normative hope since that time. It posited a universalist, prophetic, nonsectarian faith, referenced on the nation, that served as both a source of unity for the American people and a discursive resource for political leaders and protest movements. Using recent political events as illustrative cases, I argue that ACR is not only a universalist, prophetic creed, it is also an expression of tribal identity that ascribes a particular character and purpose to the American people. In particular, this “tribal” civil religion has an often‐unstated assumption about the inseparability of religion, race, and national identity—that is, white, Christian, and American. Recent events have disrupted those implicit connections, leading to a vociferous reemphasis of their centrality to the national story. I maintain that neither ACR, nor recent politics involving immigration and Barack Obama's presidency, can be understood fully without considering the religion‐race‐national identity nexus.
    June 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/jssr.12032   open full text