Archive for the ‘Current Research’ Category

CURRENT RESEARCH

Conflict is growing in congregations as they deliberate on plans to reopen during the pandemic, even as a majority of religious believers and the public tend to accept social distancing rules for all organizations, according to recent studies. A July survey by Lifeway Research found that 27 percent of evangelical and mainline pastors cited addressing complaints and conflict and keeping unity in their congregations as the pressure points they are most strongly feeling.

CURRENT RESEARCH

A study of 110,000 sermons by over 5,500 American religious leaders finds that they routinely contain political messages, with mainline Protestants most likely to deliver such sermons, with evangelicals’ preaching being far less predictable than expected. The study, conducted by political scientists Constantine Boussalis, Travis Coan, and Mirya Holman, confirms the entanglement between religion and politics in the U.S., including within congregational life, but sheds light on the actual political content of sermons.

CURRENT RESEARCH

Church attendance in the mainline Presbyterian Church (USA) has actually increased for larger congregations during the pandemic, while it has dropped for smaller churches, according to a survey of pastors in the denomination. The survey, conducted by the denomination, found that congregations with 26-100 average worshipers have declined, but has increased for those with over 100 typically in attendance.

Current Research

A community’s greater degree of social capital, as generated by congregations and other voluntary organizations, is likely to lessen the severity of the coronavirus as well as help in recovery from the crisis, according to research by Christos Andreas Makridis.

Current Research

A new study of young adults finds that while they feel a strong sense of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic, many report an increase of faith, with a fairly large number saying they are actually developing new religious practices. Scholarly studies of religion and the coronavirus pandemic will likely weigh down journals for years to come, but the few appearing so far have mainly been issued by research institutes and polling companies.

CURRENT RESEARCH

Contrary to their reputation as proselytizers, evangelicals tend to de-emphasize their religious beliefs, new research indicates that evangelicals actually downplay religious expression when working with religiously diverse and secular groups. In a study of multifaith initiatives in Boston, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon published…

CURRENT RESEARCH

Religious affiliation, or the lack of it, is one factor driving the Democratic primary vote, according to recent surveys. A study from the Pew Research Center finds that Joe Biden remains the first choice for Protestants and Catholics while Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are drawing the unaffiliated. No candidate was found to have majority support from any of the large religious groups, and many voters still say they are undecided.

CURRENT RESEARCH

A study by the Pew Research Center finds striking differences in the length and content of American sermons according to their Christian traditions. The study used computational tools to identify church in the Google Places application programming interface (API) and then collected, transcribed, and analyzed the sermons publicly posted on a representative sample of their […]

CURRENT RESEARCH

Undergoing religious initiation ceremonies, such as baptism, confirmation, and bar mitzvah, predicts a lower likelihood of disaffiliating from religion, although not later religious commitment, according to a new study published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (online in December). Samuel Perry of the University of Oklahoma and Kyle Longest of Furman

CURRENT RESEARCH

⚫ According to a study of congregational ties by Jennifer McClure of Samford University, African-American congregations have the strongest social networks while older clergy in general have weaker ties. McClure, who presented a paper at the recent meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion in St. Louis, studied ties between 438 congregations […]