Archive for the ‘Findings & Footnotes’ Category

Findings & Footnotes September 2017

Much of the current issue of the journal of Religion, Brain & Behavior (May) is devoted to developing a research program and theory that explains religious diversity just as Darwinian scientists have sought to explain biological diversity. Evolutionary biologists and psychologists have had difficulty in explaining the persistence and diversity of religion. Those anthropologists and […]

Findings & Footnotes August 2017

The International Yearbook of Religious Demography (Brill, $98) has quickly emerged as the equivalent to an annual journal on religion and demography. With its global reach and plethora of useful statistics, the 2017 yearbook, edited Brian Grim, Todd Johnson, Vegard Skirbekk, and Gina A. Zurlo, yields important insights on issues ranging from the familiar ground […]

Findings & Footnotes July 2017

ISR co-director Byron Johnson, William H. Wubbenhorst, and Alfreda Alvarez recently issued Assessing the Faith-Based Response to Homelessness in America. The 146-page report is based on an initial 11-city study on faith-based organization’s (FBO) impact on homelessness, measuring the percentage of emergency shelter beds provided by these ministries. The report also includes a 3-year projection […]

Findings & Footnotes June 2017

The journal Current Anthropology (April) features a symposium on fluid religious identities, with participants arguing that the religious “itinerant” is the rule rather than the exception today. Authors Yonathan N. Gez, Yvan Droz, Edio Soares, and Jeanne Ray even coin a term for the phenomenon of dynamic religious identity—“butinage” (which refers to the practice of […]

Findings & Footnotes May 2017

The current issue of the journal Religion and American Culture (Winter, 2017) features a 53-page section on “Studying Religion in the Age of Trump,” bringing together a wide range of prominent scholars to weigh in on this contested topic. Judging by the contributions, the election of Donald Trump has upset the theories and paradigms held […]

Findings & Footnotes April 2017

Hispanic Protestants in the U.S. are one of the few sectors of American Christianity that continue to grow, but they are also becoming so diverse that it is difficult to make many generalizations about them, according to the new book Latino Protestants in America (Rowman and Littlefield, $38), by Mark Mulder, Aida I. Ramos, and […]

Findings & Footnotes March 2017

In their book on a new stream of charismatic groups and leaders, The Rise of Network Christianity (Oxford University Press, $29.95), Brad Christerson and Richard Flory find that the shift from movement to informal networks of cooperation has been a central factor in their growth. Unlike earlier movements, such as the Vineyard Fellowship, that attempt […]

Findings & Footnotes February 2017

The way that church music assumes a central place in how Christians identify with their churches is nowhere more evident than in charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity—a fact borne out in the fascinating new book The Spirit of Praise (Penn State University Press, $32.95), edited by Monique M. Ingalls and Amos Yong. “Praise and worship” music […]

Findings & Footnotes January 2017

The U.S. Institute of Peace has issued a new report entitled The Jihadi Threat that suggests a proliferation of jihadi groups beyond their current shapes and numbers as well as the revival of al-Qaida. The 48-page report finds that both the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaida have had far-reaching influence on disenfranchised Sunni groups in […]

Findings & Footnotes December 2016

Unbelieving in Modern Society (Routledge, $119.96), by Jorg Stolz, Judith Konemann, Mallory Schneuwly Purdie, Thomas Engleberger, and Michael Kruggeler, is about Swiss religion, but the authors argue that its findings can be applied to the Western religious situation in general. While many sociologists of religion use the ideas of competition and a spiritual marketplace to explain the growth of religion, Stolz and colleagues use “market