TRENDS & Is the Political Left Becoming More Religious? What sociologists found. #OxfordUniversity #AssociationForTheSociologyOfReligion

Is the Religious Left Resurgent?” by Joseph O Baker, Gerardo Martí, Sociology of Religion, Volume 81, Issue 2, Summer 2020, Pages 131–141, https://doi.org/10.1093/socrel/sraa004 Published: 08 April 2020

Abstract:

Journalistic sources seem to suggest that there has been a resurgence of the American Religious Left (i.e., politically liberal Christians who support progressive agendas) in the wake of the strong support from the conservative Christian right in the 2016 presidential election of Donald J. Trump. Using quantitative analysis, we draw on survey data from the General Social Survey, the Public Religion Research Institute, and the National Congregations Study to assess the possibility of a resurgence among the Religious Left. In comparison with a speculated rise, our analysis indicates a notable decline in both the prevalence and engagement of Americans who self-identify as both religious and politically liberal. Not only is the constituency of the Religious Left shrinking, they have also been steadily disengaging from political activity in the last decade. Especially when looking at more recent elections, it has been those among the Secular Left who have been the most politically engaged. We summarize these empirical patterns in relation to the Religious Right and consider the potential for influence among the Religious Left aside from electoral politics. We also briefly consider other possibilities for their political impact and reflect on the inadequacy of the label “Religious Left” for capturing important dynamics. In the end, we urge greater attention to politics among sociologists of religion, providing a set of research questions to consider in light of the upcoming American 2020 national election.

Read more via … https://academic.oup.com/socrel/article-abstract/81/2/131/5818067?redirectedFrom=fulltext

BIBLICAL ENTHUSIASM & Sadly it is declining in America like it has in Europe. But, there is something God can do through us to restore www.Enthusiast.life !

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel. Two of the best researchers on the church in America have pointed out in a recent article that enthusiastic Christianity is on the decline. I hate to hear this, but I believe we must understand the reasons why and petition the Lord of the harvest to show as ways to restore biblical enthusiasm. And I believe He can!

Read this article citing research by colleagues Mark Chavez and David Voas and then let us look for ways to help people restore the enthusiasm that God intends for them to experience.

Is American religion exceptional? Maybe, maybe not by Yonat Shimron Religious News Service, 11/19/18.

… In an article published in Sociological Science last week (Nov. 15), David Voas and Mark Chaves, of University College London and Duke University, respectively, maintain that U.S. religious devotion may be higher than in other Western countries but it too is slowly declining and essentially no different from other developed nations in its growing secularization.

On the other side are two graduate students, one at Harvard and the other at Indiana University, who argue the most devout Americans have remained so and the decline is coming from those with moderate religious habits…

Voas and Chaves counter that even the intensely religious segment of the American population is shrinking. Just as Europe has become more secular, so too has America, just at a slower rate.

“The fact of the matter is, even on the intense religious category the U.S. is declining, if very slowly,” said Chaves, a professor of sociology and religious studies at Duke University.

Both teams examined five indicators of intense religion: strong religious affiliation, more than weekly attendance at religious services, biblical literalism, affiliation with an evangelical religious group and praying multiple times per day.

Voas and Chaves argue that between 1973 and today there’s been a significant drop in religious Americans’ responses in three key indicators: affiliation, the number of religious services people attend each week and their belief that the Bible is the literal word of God.

For example, only 6.6 percent of Americans attended church more than once a week between 2012 and 2016, a drop from 8 percent in 1973.

Asked if “the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word,”

31 percent said yes between 2010 and 2016, a drop from 35 percent between 1984 and 1990.

The reason for the overall drop? It’s generational, argue Voas and Chaves…

Read more at … https://religionnews.com/2018/11/19/is-american-religion-exceptional-maybe-maybe-not/

CONVERSION & A Sociological Definition Compiled by ARDA: The Association of Religious Data Archives #PennStateUniv

bpc_icon_concept.jpg Conversion

Definition:

“Conversion refers to shifts across religious traditions” (Stark and Finke 2000:114). This would include changing from Judaism to Christianity or Hinduism to Islam. Religious reaffiliation, changing from one style of a specific religion to another, is commonly confused with conversion. An example of reaffiliation would be changing from Southern Baptist to Methodist within Christianity or from Sunni to Shiite within Islam.

Studies focusing on the growth of cults did the most to shed light on the nature of conversion and the way individuals change their religious beliefs. The popular belief before the studies of Lofland and Stark (1965) and Barker (1984) was that individuals joining religious cults were brainwashed by leaders. These studies disproved this conception of conversion showing that initiates into new religious groups converted due to changes in their social networks. Those who converted did so because they came to a point where they knew more people in the cult or religious group than individuals not a part of the group. It was only until after conversion took place that the actual beliefs of the group were cited as reasons for the conversion.

Some common ways of measuring the concept of conversion is to ask individuals if they have ever experienced what they would describe as a conversion experience. Another avenue for exploring conversion is to compare a respondent’s parent’s religious affiliation with the respondent’s current religious affiliation or stated religious identity. This method assumes that as a child the respondent shared her parent’s religious views. A third possible measure of conversion is religious intermarriage. Over time researchers might find that a spouse converts, not just reaffiliates, to their spouse’s religion.

Citations:

a.) Barker, Eileen. 1984. The Making of a Moonie: Choice or Brainwashing? Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers
b.) Lofland, John, and Rodney Stark. 1965. “Becoming a World-Saver: A Theory of Conversion to a Deviant Perspective.” American Sociological Review 30: 862-875.
c.) Stark, R. and R. Finke. 2000. Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion. Berkeley: University of California Press.
d.) Stark, Rodney, and William Sims Bainbridge. 1980. “Networks of Faith: Interpersonal Bonds and Recruitment to Cults and Sects,” American Journal of Sociology 85: 1376-1395.

Related Measures
The following are possible measures of Conversion that can be created using data from theARDA.com

arrow.jpg Conversion Experience
Description:
Respondent identifies with undergoing a religious conversion experience of some kind.

Q13A: Variable 28 from Baylor Religion Survey, 2005 midline_dotted.jpg

arrow.jpg Parent’s Religious Affiliation
Description:
Asks respondents what religious tradition their parent’s ascribe to. Allows researchers to investigate why individuals maintain or change from the religious tradition they were exposed to when younger.

Q31A: Variable 121 from Baylor Religion Survey, 2005 Q31B: Variable 122 from Baylor Religion Survey, 2005 MARELIG: Variable 403 from General Social Survey, 1988 PARELIG: Variable 408 from General Social Survey, 1988 MOMS RELIG: Variable 637 from General Social Survey, 1998 POPS RELIG: Variable 639 from General Social Survey, 1998 PRELIGN: Variable 797 from National Study of Youth and Religion, Wave 1 (2003)