Archive for the ‘Current Research’ Category

CURRENT RESEARCH

The most recent data on Generation Z shows a higher rate of non-affiliation and secularism compared to Millennials and preceding generations, writes Ryan Burge in the blog Religion in Public (July 15). Burge analyzes the 2019 and 2020 waves of the Cooperative Election Study and finds that those belonging to Generation Z (born in 1996 or later) have secularized in significant ways as they have gotten older and moved into adulthood.

CURRENT RESEARCH

Increasing numbers of African American mosques are closing while the overall number of mosques in the United States continues to expand, according to a new report. “The American Mosque 2020: Growing and Evolving,” a study jointly published by the Islamic Society of North America, the Center on Muslim Philanthropy, and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding was conducted by Ihsan Bagby, who produced similar reports in 2001 and 2010.

CURRENT RESEARCH

A new survey of U.S. Jews finds that, while holding their own numerically, they are increasingly split between secularism and Orthodoxy, especially among the youngest adults. The survey by the Pew Research Center is a follow-up to its landmark 2013 study.

CURRENT RESEARCH

The case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual abuse, and its cover-up by his fellow bishops and clerics reflects less a singular instance of clerical misbehavior than a vulnerable episcopal system in which “bad actors find it more or less easy to operate, survive, and thrive.” So write sociologist Stephen Bullivant and psychologist Giovanni Radhitio Putra Sadewo in the Catholic Herald (April 18), based on their study of episcopal networks surrounding McCarrick.

CURRENT RESEARCH

A new Gallup Poll finds that for the first time since it began collecting data on church membership in the late 1930s, fewer than half of Americans say they belong to a religious congregation. The new survey finds that 47 percent of Americans now say they belong to a house of worship, decreasing from 70 percent in the mid-1990s and 50 percent in 2019.

CURRENT RESEARCH

Pastoral care in churches has gradually shifted from specific religious teachings to a more ecumenical spirituality and from concerns about human nature and morality to an emphasis on personal narratives, according to a study in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (online in February).

CURRENT RESEARCH

While religious attendance is negatively associated with women’s egalitarian attitudes toward gender, this relationship depends on a country’s rate of gender inequality and religious affiliation, according to an analysis of survey data from 37 countries. The study, published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (online in January), is based on a survey of gender roles by the International Social Survey Program that measured women’s religiosity and attitudes on gender.

CURRENT RESEARCH

While it is true that the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is showing steady
membership losses, a study parsing these figures by ethnicity reveals patterns of growth
beyond the majority white members.
The study, conducted by the denomination’s International
Mission Board, found that while the overall SBC membership decreased slightly by -0.1 percent
from 1990 to 2018, ethnic minority groups and congregations increased by more than one
million members.

CURRENT RESEARCH

Megachurches continue to grow in attendance, even as these congregations are subdividing into smaller satellite churches, according to a study by Scott Thumma and Warren Bird. The Hartford Institute for Religion Research-based study confirmed that the majority of participants continue to be white and college educated, although these racial patterns are changing. While megachurches experience people leaving the pews, nearly two-thirds have been at their churches for more than 5 years.

CURRENT RESEARCH

The most recent wave of the New Congregations Study (NCS) finds that the trend toward informal and more enthusiastic forms of worship shows no signs of plateauing while the ethnic diversity of American congregations has increased significantly, with the percentage of all-white congregations decreasing.