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What Americans Really Believe
By Rodney Stark
A shocking snapshot of the most current impulses in American religion. Rodney Stark reports the surprising findings of the 2007 Baylor Surveys of Religion, a follow up to the 2005 survey revealing most Americans believe in God or a higher power. This new volume highlights even more hot-button issues of religious life in our country. A must-read for anyone interested in Americans' religious beliefs and practices.
List of Tables
The Stability and Diversity of American Faith
2 Church Growth
Competing for Members
3 Strict Churches
The Reasons for their Popularity
4 The “Scattered” Church
Traditional Congregations are not Going Away
Supersizing the Faith
Beliefs and Practices
6 Religious Experiences
God Told Me to Go to Church
Women Believe More, Pray More
We are All Going There
Love Makes a Difference
Did Sin Cause the Hurricane?
Religion and Spirituality Are Not Mutually Exclusive
The Rich, the Poor, and the Widow’s Mite
Are We Hard-Wired for God?
Atheism and Irreligion
Godless Revolution Never Happened
New Age Believers in Big Foot
16 New Age Adherents
Well-Educated, Formerly Irreligious Elites
17 The Irreligious
Simply Unchurched—not Atheists
The Public Square
18 Faith and Politics
Is There a Secret Plot of Evangelicals to Take over the American Government?
19 Merry Christmas, Jesus
It’s Okay to Put Sacred Symbols in the Public Square
Talking about Faith in Public
21 Religious Media Consumption
The DaVinci Code Effect
22 Civic Participation
Faith as Social Capital
23 Going to College, Getting a Job
What Happens when Mom and Dad Take Their Kids to Church
The Institute for the Study of Religion
An indispensable resource for understanding the American public.
—George H. Gallup Jr., American Public Opinion Statistician
All who find in statistics precise food for thought owe Stark and his colleagues at Baylor gratitude.
A worthy addition to the burgeoning survey data literature in the sociology of religion. Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.
Rodney Stark (Ph.D. University of California, Berkley) is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. Co-Director of the Institute of Studies of Religion, Stark is also widely published. His publications include Discovering God: The Origins of the Great Religions and the Evolution of Belief (2007), Cities of God: The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conquered Rome (2006), and The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (2005).