American religion : contemporary trends by Mark Chaves

By Mark Chaves

Most americans say they suspect in God, and greater than a 3rd say they attend spiritual providers a week. but reports express that folks don't rather visit church as frequently as they declare, and it's not continually transparent what they suggest once they inform pollsters they think in God or pray. American Religion provides the simplest and latest information regarding non secular tendencies within the usa, in a succinct and available demeanour. This sourcebook presents crucial information regarding key advancements in American faith seeing that 1972, and is the 1st significant source of its type to seem in additional than decades.

Mark Chaves seems to be at traits in variety, trust, involvement, congregational lifestyles, management, liberal Protestant decline, and polarization. He attracts on very important surveys: the final Social Survey, an ongoing survey of usa citizens' altering attitudes and behaviors, started in 1972; and the nationwide Congregations examine, a survey of yankee non secular congregations around the spiritual spectrum. Chaves unearths that American non secular existence has noticeable a lot continuity in contemporary many years, but in addition a lot swap. He demanding situations the preferred idea that faith is witnessing a resurgence within the United States--in truth, conventional trust and perform is both sturdy or declining. Chaves examines why the decline in liberal Protestant denominations has been followed via the unfold of liberal Protestant attitudes approximately non secular and social tolerance, how self assurance in spiritual associations has declined greater than self assurance in secular associations, and a number of alternative the most important trends.

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There may be specific times and places in the United States where religion looks like it is on the rise, but these should be understood as short-lived local weather patterns within a national religious climate that is in some ways holding its own and in some ways slowly declining— but clearly is not rising. All talk of increased religiosity in the United States in recent decades is baseless. If religiosity is not increasing in the United States, why do people sometimes think it is? I will answer this question in the final chapter, where I also will offer several other concluding observations about continuity and change in American religion.

2 shows the trend in this belief separately for people who say they attend religious services at least weekly and those who say they attend less frequently than that. The pattern is clear. There has been no increase in belief in life after death among regular attendees. Among that group the level of belief was very high in the 1970s, and it is still high now. Among less regular attendees, however, believing in life after death has increased from 71 percent in the 1970s to 79 percent in the twenty-first century.

Another kind of survey assesses how often people attend religious services without asking them about it directly. In these surveys, called “time use” or “time diary” studies, people are asked to describe what they did, hour by hour, the day before they are being interviewed. Researchers can then see whether people interviewed on a Monday, for example, mentioned going to church the day before. Remarkably, these time diary studies find much lower religious service attendance rates than conventional surveys find.

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