Learning from the Unaffiliated

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly recently featured Diana Butler Bass, author of Christianity After Religion (my review), about the religious implications of the rise of the religiously unaffiliated.  While there is diversity within the growing group of religiously unaffiliated, Butler Bass claims, " . . . an awful lot of people who are in the unaffiliated categories - people who are spiritual but not religious or people who consider themselves to maybe to be spiritual and religious are engaging Read More …

A Political Explanation for Increased Religious Non-Affiliation

Sociologist Bradley Wright teaches at the University of Connecticut.  His work has been mentioned on my blog on several occasions, including reviews of his two most recent books: Upside: Surprising Good News About the State of Our World (2011 - my review here) and  Christians are Hate-Filled Hypocrites . . . and Other Lies You’ve Been Told: A Sociologist Shatters Myths From the Secular and Christian Media (2010 - my review here). Wright recently wrote about the connection between the dramatic Read More …

Spiritual or Religious or Both

Bruce Reyes Chow is a consultant who served as founding pastor of Mission Bay Community Church, until May of this year, and was the former moderator of the General Assembly of the 2.3 million member PCUSA.  He recently blogged about the importance of being both spiritual and religious. In the post, he notes that the number of people who think of themselves as spiritual but not religious continues to grow as has been captured by research, including that done by the Pew Forum on Religion and Read More …

Shifts in American Religious Behavior

The Barna Group recently published a list of changes in American religious behavior over the last twenty years based on data collected via their annual OmniPollSM survey conducted each January. Bible reading undertaken during the course of a typical week, other than passages read while attending church events, has declined by five percentage points (to 40%); Church volunteerism has dropped by eight percentage points (to 19% who do so during a typical week); Adult Sunday school Read More …

Theology and the Church After Google

"Theology and the Church After Google: How This New Age Will Change Christianity" is both an article about how theology is shifting and must continue to change as well as an example of such change.  It is written by an academic (Philip Clayton, Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Claremont Graduate University and Ingraham Professor at Claremont School of Theology) and was published in an academic journal (The Princeton Theological Review), however, it now appears online in its entirety (The Read More …

Religious Under and Over Representation in the 112th Congress

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life posted "Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 112th Congress" last month.  This article explores the religious makeup of both chambers, compares the religious preferences of newly elected officials and incumbents, and provides historical data.  Shown at right is a chart showing how varying religions are represented in the 112th Congress and in the American adult population as a whole. So What? While some variance between the makeup of Read More …