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Special Issue "Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion"

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A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Kent R. Kerley

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, The University of Texas at Arlington, 362 University Hall, Box 19595, 601 S. Nedderman Drive, Arlington, TX 76019, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1 817 272 0478
Fax: +1 817 272 5673
Interests: religion and crime; religion in the prison context; faith-based programs; evangelical protestantism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The study of religion as an academic discipline is a rather recent development in colleges and universities in the United States and abroad.  Beginning in about the 1960s, researchers from social science backgrounds (predominately sociology) have studied religion as a social force that may impact a wide range of individual and societal outcomes.  Researchers from this sociology of religion tradition have studied the impact of religion on topics such as community involvement, coping with difficult life events, crime, drug use, environmental concern, family, health and mortality, interpersonal relations, political attitudes, psychological well-being, public life, and racial attitudes.  These studies have incorporated myriad research methodologies such as surveys, in-depth interviews, participant observation, and content analysis.  This special issue brings together sociology of religion scholars who use these diverse methodologies to study the impact of religion on a broad range of outcomes.  In doing so, this issue provides a “snapshot” of current work in the sociology of religion.  At the end of each article, authors will conclude with how their work fits into the current sociology of religion literature and how others may contribute to this literature.

Dr. Kent R. Kerley
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Print Edition available!
A Print Edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Hardcover: 47.50 CHF*
Pages: 14, 332
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Keywords

  • faith-based research
  • religion and community
  • religion and crime
  • religion and family
  • religion and health
  • religion and politics
  • religion and public life
  • sociology of religion

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Marital Naming Plans among Students at Four Evangelical Colleges
Religions 2014, 5(4), 1116-1131; doi:10.3390/rel5041116
Received: 16 September 2014 / Revised: 6 November 2014 / Accepted: 11 November 2014 / Published: 21 November 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite increasingly egalitarian gender roles in the United States, when the wedding bells ring for heterosexual couples, husband and wife still commonly emerge sharing the man’s last name. Largely missing from previous studies of marital name change is the influence of religion. We
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Despite increasingly egalitarian gender roles in the United States, when the wedding bells ring for heterosexual couples, husband and wife still commonly emerge sharing the man’s last name. Largely missing from previous studies of marital name change is the influence of religion. We examine the marital naming plans of 199 students from four Evangelical colleges. Nearly all these students planned to marry and more than 80% planned to follow the traditional naming pattern for their gender. Bivariate correlations and logistic regression models reveal that private prayer and more literal views of the Bible correspond to plans for a traditional marital surname. Yet, only a small minority of students evoked religious language to justify their surname choice. Gender roles, identity, and tradition were dominant themes in their explanations. Whether recognized or not, personal religiosity and the model of marriage cultivated in religious families guide the marital naming intentions of Evangelical students. Thus, religion operates as an invisible influence shaping ideals of marriage and family within Evangelical subculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Bringing the Congregations Back in: Religious Markets, Congregational Density, and American Religious Participation
Religions 2014, 5(3), 929-947; doi:10.3390/rel5030929
Received: 24 June 2014 / Revised: 29 August 2014 / Accepted: 1 September 2014 / Published: 25 September 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We draw on the organizational ecology tradition to frame the relationship between the religious environment of a community and local religious participation. Prior research linking religious environments to religious participation downplays a key organizational aspect of religion: the congregation. Following the organizational ecology
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We draw on the organizational ecology tradition to frame the relationship between the religious environment of a community and local religious participation. Prior research linking religious environments to religious participation downplays a key organizational aspect of religion: the congregation. Following the organizational ecology usage of density, we argue that congregational density—the number of congregations per person within a community—impacts religious involvement by providing opportunities for participation and by fostering social accountability networks within congregations. Drawing on data from the 2000 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, we test the hypothesis that congregational density in a locality is associated with greater religious participation by residents. Our findings indicate that persons residing in congregationally dense communities are more likely to be members of churches, to attend church regularly, to participate in church-based activities, to participate in non-church religious organizations, to volunteer for religious work, and to give to religious causes. These findings hold while controlling for an array of individual and contextual-level variables. This notion of congregational density suggests that local factors transcend broader theological and/or denominational boundaries, resulting in variations in religious participation and commitment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Who is in Control? How Women in a Halfway House Use Faith to Recover from Drug Addiction
Religions 2014, 5(3), 852-870; doi:10.3390/rel5030852
Received: 25 July 2014 / Revised: 13 August 2014 / Accepted: 14 August 2014 / Published: 25 August 2014
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Abstract
Religious adherents from most major faith traditions struggle in balancing their individual agency with divine leadership. While this issue of individual versus divine control is complex for those in free society, it becomes even more so when applied to those in correctional and
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Religious adherents from most major faith traditions struggle in balancing their individual agency with divine leadership. While this issue of individual versus divine control is complex for those in free society, it becomes even more so when applied to those in correctional and treatment settings. For those attempting to recover from drug addiction, a common conclusion is that drugs have taken control of their lives, thus it is necessary for them to reclaim control. Via a narrative analysis of semi-structured interviews with 30 former drug addicts residing in a faith-based halfway house for women, we explore how the women make sense of losing control of their lives due to their drug use, but then being taught to regain control by surrendering to a higher power. We find strong evidence of Deferring and Collaborative religious coping styles and these coping styles structure how the women discuss the future and their strategies for success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Religion and Marriage Timing: A Replication and Extension
Religions 2014, 5(3), 834-851; doi:10.3390/rel5030834
Received: 15 June 2014 / Revised: 25 July 2014 / Accepted: 31 July 2014 / Published: 22 August 2014
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Abstract
Previous studies have revealed denominational subculture variations in marriage timing in the U.S. with conservative Protestants marrying at a much younger age than Catholics and the unaffiliated. However, the effects of other religious factors, such as worship service attendance and religious salience, remain
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Previous studies have revealed denominational subculture variations in marriage timing in the U.S. with conservative Protestants marrying at a much younger age than Catholics and the unaffiliated. However, the effects of other religious factors, such as worship service attendance and religious salience, remain overlooked. Informed by a theoretical framework that integrates the denominational subculture variation thesis and the gendered religiosity thesis, this study replicates, updates, and extends previous research by examining the effects of religiosity on the timing of first marriage among 10,403 men and 12,279 women using pooled cross-sectional data from the National Survey of Family Growth, 2006–2010. Our survival regression models indicate that: (1) consistent with previous research, Protestants in general, and conservative Protestants in particular, marry earlier than the religiously unaffiliated; (2) irrespective of denominational affiliation, increased frequency of worship service attendance decreases age at first marriage for both men and women, whereas religious salience is associated with earlier marriage only for women; (3) among Catholics, as worship service attendance increases, the waiting time to first marriage decreases; and (4) among Protestants, however, worship service attendance decreases age at first marriage for men who are affiliated with mainline and non-denominational Protestant churches, while for women the decrease in age at first marriage associated with worship service attendance is found for those who report a conservative Protestant affiliation. The complex intersections of denominational affiliation, frequency of worship service attendance, religious salience, and gender are discussed. Results suggest that religion continues to exert influences on marriage timing among recent birth cohorts of young Americans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle The Optimal Level of Strictness and Congregational Growth
Religions 2014, 5(3), 703-719; doi:10.3390/rel5030703
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 29 July 2014 / Accepted: 30 July 2014 / Published: 8 August 2014
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Abstract
Beginning with Kelley’s and Iannaccone’s foundational studies, scholars have examined how strictness impacts congregational outcomes. This paper seeks to further develop the strict church thesis by examining Iannaccone’s concept of “optimal level of strictness”, an idea that there are limits to strictness. Using
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Beginning with Kelley’s and Iannaccone’s foundational studies, scholars have examined how strictness impacts congregational outcomes. This paper seeks to further develop the strict church thesis by examining Iannaccone’s concept of “optimal level of strictness”, an idea that there are limits to strictness. Using Stark and Finke’s theoretical framework of religious niches and data from the 2005 Baylor Religion Survey and the 2000 Faith Communities Today survey, I find that only prohibitions that are in line with a congregation’s religious niche have an impact on growth. To be beneficial, prohibitions must match the pool of potential members’ preferences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle The Empirical Ties between Religious Motivation and Altruism in Foster Parents: Implications for Faith-Based Initiatives in Foster Care and Adoption
Religions 2014, 5(3), 720-737; doi:10.3390/rel5030720
Received: 9 June 2014 / Revised: 31 July 2014 / Accepted: 31 July 2014 / Published: 8 August 2014
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Abstract
Amidst a crisis shortage of foster homes in the child welfare system, a number of innovative faith-based collaborations aimed at recruiting foster parents have recently emerged. It has been suggested that these collaborations offer a unique opportunity to recruit committed and altruistic parents
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Amidst a crisis shortage of foster homes in the child welfare system, a number of innovative faith-based collaborations aimed at recruiting foster parents have recently emerged. It has been suggested that these collaborations offer a unique opportunity to recruit committed and altruistic parents as caregivers, providing much needed capacity to an overloaded child welfare system. This paper uses data from the National Survey of Current and Former Foster Parents to examine the associations between religious motivations for fostering, altruism and various measures of foster home utilization and longevity. The empirical results demonstrate that religiously motivated foster parents are more likely to have altruistic reasons for fostering, and scored higher than the non-religiously motivated group on an index of altruism. A separate empirical analysis shows that the interaction of high levels of altruism and religious motivation is associated with higher foster home utilization. No association was found between religious altruism and the parent’s expressed intent to continue providing foster care. The implications of these findings for current faith-based collaboration in the child welfare arena are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Religion and American Politics from a Global Perspective
Religions 2014, 5(3), 648-662; doi:10.3390/rel5030648
Received: 23 May 2014 / Revised: 12 July 2014 / Accepted: 15 July 2014 / Published: 29 July 2014
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Abstract
Past findings and theory in the sociology of religion support two opposing perspectives concerning the influence of religion on American politics. Looking from within the United States, the commanding influence of religion on political rhetoric and voting patterns seems apparent. From a global
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Past findings and theory in the sociology of religion support two opposing perspectives concerning the influence of religion on American politics. Looking from within the United States, the commanding influence of religion on political rhetoric and voting patterns seems apparent. From a global perspective, the role that religion plays in American politics is less clear; in fact, one could argue that our political institutions are decidedly secular. I present support for both of these perspectives before turning to an international analysis of images of God using the Gallup World Poll. These data indicate the uniqueness of American religiosity and suggest that the ways in which religion affect politics in the United States is unusual for a post-industrial country. Namely, many Americans understand God as a political actor; because of this, American political culture mixes religious and political language with fervor, all while keeping church and state institutions separate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Hinduism in India and Congregational Forms: Influences of Modernization and Social Networks
Religions 2011, 2(4), 676-692; doi:10.3390/rel2040676
Received: 30 October 2011 / Accepted: 2 December 2011 / Published: 8 December 2011
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Abstract
In light of increased scholarly interest in the scientific study of non-Christian religions and societies, I review sociological research on Hinduism. Specifically, I focus on Hindu congregational forms, a phenomenon noted in social scientific literature. Drawing on existing theories from the sociology of
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In light of increased scholarly interest in the scientific study of non-Christian religions and societies, I review sociological research on Hinduism. Specifically, I focus on Hindu congregational forms, a phenomenon noted in social scientific literature. Drawing on existing theories from the sociology of religion, this article illuminates possible social sources of Hindu congregational forms. Two preliminary sources are proposed and possible mechanisms elaborated: (1) modernization and (2) social networks. I conclude by proposing several new directions for research on Hindu congregational forms. These arguments and proposals offer directions for expanding understanding of how theories in the sociology of religion might operate beyond Christianity and the West. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle The Sociology of Humanist, Spiritual, and Religious Practice in Prison: Supporting Responsivity and Desistance from Crime
Religions 2011, 2(4), 590-610; doi:10.3390/rel2040590
Received: 20 September 2011 / Accepted: 24 October 2011 / Published: 2 November 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (837 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents evidence for why Corrections should take the humanist, spiritual, and religious self-identities of people in prison seriously, and do all it can to foster and support those self-identities, or ways of establishing meaning in life. Humanist, spiritual, and religious (H/S/R)
[...] Read more.
This paper presents evidence for why Corrections should take the humanist, spiritual, and religious self-identities of people in prison seriously, and do all it can to foster and support those self-identities, or ways of establishing meaning in life. Humanist, spiritual, and religious (H/S/R) pathways to meaning can be an essential part of the evidence-based responsivity principle of effective correctional programming, and the desistance process for men and women involved in crime. This paper describes the sociology of the H/S/R involvement of 349 women and 3,009 men during the first year of their incarceration in the Oregon prison system. Ninety-five percent of the women and 71% of the men voluntarily attended at least one H/S/R event during their first year of prison. H/S/R events were mostly led by diverse religious and spiritual traditions, such as Native American, Protestant, Islamic, Wiccan, Jewish, Jehovah Witness, Latter-day Saints/Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, Buddhist, and Catholic, but, increasingly, events are secular or humanist in context, such as education, yoga, life-skills development, non-violent communication, and transcendental meditation groups. The men and women in prison had much higher rates of H/S/R involvement than the general population in Oregon. Mirroring gender-specific patterns of H/S/R involvement found in the community, women in prison were much more likely to attend H/S/R events than men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Go Forth and Multiply: Revisiting Religion and Fertility in the United States, 1984-2008
Religions 2011, 2(4), 469-484; doi:10.3390/rel2040469
Received: 1 June 2011 / Revised: 30 August 2011 / Accepted: 5 September 2011 / Published: 27 September 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (405 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many studies on the fertility differential by religion have considered both Catholics and Protestants to be equally homogenous groups. Contrary to these studies, we contend that Protestant fertility must be studied in the context of heterogeneous groups. Specifically, conservative Protestantism, with its beliefs
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Many studies on the fertility differential by religion have considered both Catholics and Protestants to be equally homogenous groups. Contrary to these studies, we contend that Protestant fertility must be studied in the context of heterogeneous groups. Specifically, conservative Protestantism, with its beliefs about artificial birth control mirroring Catholic teaching, should be examined separately from other Protestant traditions. Using data from the General Social Survey we find that conservative Protestants and Catholics had about the same level of fertility, while mainline Protestants have a fertility rate that is significantly lower than that of Catholics. We also examine the changes in these differences over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Does Religious Involvement Generate or Inhibit Fear of Crime?
Religions 2011, 2(4), 485-503; doi:10.3390/rel2040485
Received: 15 June 2011 / Revised: 11 September 2011 / Accepted: 23 September 2011 / Published: 27 September 2011
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Abstract
In victimology, fear of crime is understood as an emotional response to the perceived threat of crime. Fear of crime has been found to be affected by several variables besides local crime rates and personal experiences with victimization. This study examines the relationship
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In victimology, fear of crime is understood as an emotional response to the perceived threat of crime. Fear of crime has been found to be affected by several variables besides local crime rates and personal experiences with victimization. This study examines the relationship between religion and fear of crime, an underexplored topic in the criminological literature. This gap is rather surprising given the central role religion has been found to play in shaping the attitudes and perceptions of congregants. In particular, religion has been found to foster generalized trust, which should engender lower levels of distrust or misanthropy, including that which is directed towards a general fear of crime. OLS regression was performed using data from the West Georgia Area Survey (n = 380). Controlling for demographic, community involvement, and political ideology variables, frequency of religious attendance was significantly and negatively associated with fear of property crime. This relationship remained even after a perceived neighborhood safety variable was introduced to the model. However, religious attendance was not significantly related to fear of violent crime, and religious orientation was unrelated to fear of property and violent crime. These results suggest that religious involvement conditionally reduces fear of crime, and the authors recommend that future research explore relationships between religion and fear of crime. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Schools and Communities of Norm-awareness
Religions 2011, 2(3), 372-388; doi:10.3390/rel2030372
Received: 10 June 2011 / Revised: 28 July 2011 / Accepted: 16 August 2011 / Published: 22 August 2011
PDF Full-text (325 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The relationship between religiosity and educational attainment is an important question in the sociology of religion literature. It is widely contested whether the natural outgrowth of the spreading rational worldview and the increase of educated people can account for the decline of religious
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The relationship between religiosity and educational attainment is an important question in the sociology of religion literature. It is widely contested whether the natural outgrowth of the spreading rational worldview and the increase of educated people can account for the decline of religious adherence. Is there any other explanation for the different opportunities of religious and non-religious societal groups to obtaining the highest educational level? After the political transformation in Central and Eastern Europe, one of the most important challenges of restructuring the educational system was how different cultural groups would be able to infuse their own spirituality into their children's education after the domination of the totalitarian ideology. The Hungarian case is unique because of the mixed confessional landscape, the populous Hungarian minority outside the border, the alternating hard and soft periods of religious harassment. Recently, more than half of the Hungarian population can be described as religious in their own way, one sixth strongly affiliated with churches, and another sixth are atheists. However, several studies showed that basic indicators of social status were very strongly and negatively interrelated with religiosity. It turned out that preferred educational views, values, approaches and priorities regarding the norms at schools differ very sharply according to the religious views, and belonging to a religious network significantly supports educational careers. This paper is a comprehensive review of research on the educational functions of denominational schools and religious communities in contemporary Hungary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Religion and Infant Mortality in the U.S.: A Preliminary Study of Denominational Variations
Religions 2011, 2(3), 264-276; doi:10.3390/rel2030264
Received: 12 June 2011 / Revised: 25 June 2011 / Accepted: 5 July 2011 / Published: 12 July 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Prior research has identified a number of antecedents to infant mortality, but has been focused on either structural (demographic) forces or medical (public health) factors, both of which ignore potential cultural influences. Our study introduces a cultural model for explaining variations in infant
[...] Read more.
Prior research has identified a number of antecedents to infant mortality, but has been focused on either structural (demographic) forces or medical (public health) factors, both of which ignore potential cultural influences. Our study introduces a cultural model for explaining variations in infant mortality, one focused on the role of community-level religious factors. A key impetus for our study is well-established religious variations in adult mortality at the community level. Seeking to extend the growing body of research on contextual-level effects of religion, this study examines the impact of religious ecology (i.e., the institutional market share of particular denominational traditions) on county-level infant mortality in the U.S. Analyses of congregational census and Kids Count data reveal that a high prevalence of Catholic and most types of conservative Protestant churches are associated with lower rates of infant mortality when compared with counties that feature fewer Catholic and conservative Protestant congregations. However, communities with a large proportion of Pentecostal churches exhibit significantly higher infant mortality rates. After discussing the implications of these findings, we specify various directions for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle The Connection between Worship Attendance and Racial Segregation Attitudes among White and Black Americans
Religions 2011, 2(3), 277-296; doi:10.3390/rel2030277
Received: 20 May 2011 / Revised: 1 July 2011 / Accepted: 6 July 2011 / Published: 12 July 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (617 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study finds that, for Whites, worship attendance is associated with heightened support for racial segregation. This has much to do with the fact that the individuals that attend worship service the least, secular and young adults, tend to be more racially
[...] Read more.
The present study finds that, for Whites, worship attendance is associated with heightened support for racial segregation. This has much to do with the fact that the individuals that attend worship service the least, secular and young adults, tend to be more racially progressive. That is, the extent to which secular and Generation X and Y individuals attend worship services as often as others, worship attendance is associated with weakened opposition to racial segregation. Conversely, worship attendance, religious affiliation, and age cohort are largely unrelated to Black racial segregation attitudes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Diffused Religion and Prayer
Religions 2011, 2(2), 198-215; doi:10.3390/rel2020198
Received: 28 March 2011 / Revised: 9 June 2011 / Accepted: 17 June 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (235 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is quite likely that the origins of prayer are to be found in ancient mourning and bereavement rites. Primeval ritual prayer was codified and handed down socially to become a deep-rooted feature of people’s cultural behavior, so much so, that it may
[...] Read more.
It is quite likely that the origins of prayer are to be found in ancient mourning and bereavement rites. Primeval ritual prayer was codified and handed down socially to become a deep-rooted feature of people’s cultural behavior, so much so, that it may surface again several years later, in the face of death, danger, need, even in the case of relapse from faith and religious practice. Modes of prayer depend on religious experience, on relations between personal prayer and political action, between prayer and forgiveness, and between prayer and approaches to religions. Various forms of prayer exist, from the covert-hidden to the overt-manifest kind. How can they be investigated? How can one, for instance, explore mental prayer? These issues regard the canon of diffused religion and, therefore, of diffused prayer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Understanding Personal Change in a Women’s Faith-Based Transitional Center
Religions 2011, 2(2), 184-197; doi:10.3390/rel2020184
Received: 7 June 2011 / Revised: 15 June 2011 / Accepted: 21 June 2011 / Published: 22 June 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (264 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An impressive research literature has emerged that identifies linkages between religion and a wide range of attitudes, behaviors, and life events. We contribute to this literature by exploring how women undergoing difficult life circumstances—such as incarceration, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, unemployment,
[...] Read more.
An impressive research literature has emerged that identifies linkages between religion and a wide range of attitudes, behaviors, and life events. We contribute to this literature by exploring how women undergoing difficult life circumstances—such as incarceration, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, unemployment, and homelessness—use faith to cope with and change these circumstances. To address this issue we analyze semi-structured interviews with 40 residents of a faith-based transitional center for women in the Southern United States. The residents outline a narrative of change in which they distinguish between the “old self” and “new self.” The narratives also specify the role of religiosity in facilitating change, the creation of a faith-based identity, and the strategies used for maintaining change. We conclude with implications for faith-based treatment programs, local pastors and religious congregants involved in social outreach ministry, sociology of religion scholars, and policy makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Neighbors Like Me? Religious Affiliation and Neighborhood Racial Preferences among Non-Hispanic Whites
Religions 2011, 2(2), 165-183; doi:10.3390/rel2020165
Received: 15 March 2011 / Revised: 1 June 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 15 June 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (291 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Research on racial residential segregation has paid little attention to the role that social institutions play in either isolating or integrating racial and ethnic groups in American communities. Scholars have argued that racial segregation within American religion may contribute to and consolidate racial
[...] Read more.
Research on racial residential segregation has paid little attention to the role that social institutions play in either isolating or integrating racial and ethnic groups in American communities. Scholars have argued that racial segregation within American religion may contribute to and consolidate racial division elsewhere in social life. However, no previous study has employed national survey data to examine the relationship between religious affiliation and the preferences people have about the racial and ethnic composition of their neighborhoods. Using data from the “Multi-Ethnic United States” module on the 2000 General Social Survey, this study finds that white evangelical Protestants have a significantly stronger preference for same-race neighbors than do Catholics, Jews, adherents of “other” faiths, and the unaffiliated. Group differences in preferences are largely accounted for by socio-demographic characteristics. Negative racial stereotyping and social isolation from minorities, both topics of interest in recent research on evangelical Protestants and race, fail to explain group differences in preferences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview The Resurgence of Religion in America’s Prisons
Religions 2014, 5(3), 663-683; doi:10.3390/rel5030663
Received: 29 May 2014 / Revised: 1 July 2014 / Accepted: 11 July 2014 / Published: 4 August 2014
PDF Full-text (106 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article discusses the growing prominence of “faith-based” programs in American corrections and the historical context of penal regime change during periods of economic crisis. The article traces areas of overlap and divergence in recent discussions of penal reform in the U.S. The
[...] Read more.
This article discusses the growing prominence of “faith-based” programs in American corrections and the historical context of penal regime change during periods of economic crisis. The article traces areas of overlap and divergence in recent discussions of penal reform in the U.S. The article suggests a new American penitentiary movement is emerging, noting central tenets of faith-based programs have salience for both conservatives and liberals: on the one hand, faith-based programs are largely paid for by church congregations and volunteers, which appeals to conservatives’ desire to shrink government and get taxpayers out of the business of community building; on the other, faith-based programs demonstrate a recommitment to having at least some level of programming in prisons, which satisfies the left’s view that community building and social capital ultimately lower recidivism. The paper documents several prominent faith-based correctional programs while articulating an agenda for research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion) Print Edition available

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