The Least Educated Americans: Christians

A few weeks ago the Pew Research Center published a detailed chart showing a nation by nation breakdown of the educational attainment of those identified with select world religions. United States In the United States, the average educational attainment of all adults aged 25 and older was 12.9 years. In rank order by average educational attainment in number of years the report shows:  Hindus - 15.7  Jews - 14.7  Muslims - 13.6  Buddhists - 13.4  Christians - 12.6 Note: Read More …

Unique Opportunity to Learn About World Religions

Religious literacy is an essential interpersonal competency for all who seek to live well and to relate effectively to other people.  The lack of basic religious literacy continues to fuel isolation, hate, and even violence. My belief that all people need to expand their religious literacy beyond their own religion to the world's great religions has inspired me to teach world religions at the college level eighteen times (and counting!). While I cannot invite you to audit my class, I can Read More …

World Religions from 2010 to 2050

Last week the Pew Research Center released projections for how the makeup of the world's largest religions are likely to shift between now and 2050.  These projections rely on complicated assumptions and modeling designed over the last six years by team of demographers from the Pew Research Center (Washington, D.C.), and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Laxenburg, Austria). Globally between 2010 and 2050: world population will increase by 35%, number of Muslims Read More …

Religious Symbols on National Flags

According to a new Pew Research analysis, a third of the world's countries have national flags that contain religious symbols.  The 64 flags with religious imagery can be categorized by religion as follows: Christianity - 31 Islam - 21 Other Religions - 6 Hinduism/Buddhism - 3 Buddhism - 2 Judaism - 1. So What? According to data gathered a few years ago by Pew Research, more than half of the global population are adherents to one of the world's two largest religions: Read More …

A Religious Double Standard

While one would hope that Americans hold informed, respectful, and tolerant views of persons of all religious traditions (including those who have opted to not follow a religious paths) numerous studies indicate that most people have very limited levels of religious literacy.  Sadly, one recent study found that there is a religious double standard regarding religious violence. More specifically: when people claim to be a Christian and commit violent acts in the name of Christianity, only 13% Read More …

Global Islam

Writing for the CNN Belief Blog, Dan Merica distills the newly released Pew Research Center study on Islam into five major takeaways: Differences between U.S. and international Muslims are vast, Sharia law favored, especially by more devout Muslims, Most Muslims believe religion, politics should be intertwined, Around the world, Muslims heralded religious freedom, and Islamic extremism widely rejected, but still a concern. Says Who? This four year long study included a total of Read More …

Review of Unifying Truths of the World’s Religions

Meet the Author C. David Lundberg grew up around religion as a part of his family's inspirational publishing business.  Over forty years ago he realized that, for him, spiritual truth extended well beyond the biblical text.  In response, he has spent most of his life exploring the world's many religious texts and traditions. Lundberg is a minister with the Spiritual Awareness Fellowship and Pathways of Light. Book Basics Unifying Truths of the World's Religions is a thoughtful, Read More …

Mosques in America Growing Rapidly

The number of mosques in America is growing rapidly.  Lauren Markoe's Religion News Service article explores the recent growth through the lens of  "The American Mosque 2011,"  a recently released report that overviews the findings of a survey produced by "a coalition of Islamic civic groups and Muslim and non-Muslim religion scholars."  Notably: Total number of mosques: 2016 Growth in number of mosques since 2000: 74% Most mosques take an approach that is other than literal "see the Read More …

Review of Religion Gone Astray

Meet the Authors Pastor  Don Mackenzie, Rabbi Ted Falcon, and Imam Jamal Rahman have been working together on interfaith matters since shortly after September 11, 2001.  A few years ago the trio together wrote their first book: Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi & a Sheikh (2009).  In response to the many common questions they receive at their speaking engagements, they have now written a second book: Religion Gone Astray: What Read More …

Review of Happiness

Meet the Author Sister Joan Chittister is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA, where she served as prioress for 12 years.  She is a social psychologist with a doctorate from Penn State University, the founder of Benetvision (an organization that exists to encourage the development of contemporary spirituality from a feminist and global perspective through her work), regular columnist for National Catholic Reporter, and a sought after speaker.  Chittister presently serves as the Read More …