sociology

Graphic courtesy of Tiffany McCallen / RNS

Graphic courtesy of Tiffany McCallen / RNS

Meet the “Post-Seculars” — the one in five Americans who no one seems to have noticed before in endless rounds of debates pitting science vs. religion.

They’re more strongly religious than most “Traditionals” (43 percent of Americans) and more scientifically knowledgeable than “Moderns” (36 percent) who stand on science alone, according to two sociologists’ findings in a new study.

“We were surprised to find this pretty big group (21 percent) who are pretty knowledgeable and appreciative about science and technology but who are also very religious and who reject certain scientific theories,” said Timothy O’Brien, co-author of the research study, released Jan. 29 in the American Sociological Review.

Put another way, there’s a sizable chunk of Americans out there who are both religious and scientifically minded but who break with both packs when faith and science collide.

Chris Lisee 08-20-2012
Worship concert, rehoboth foto / Shutterstock.com

Worship concert, rehoboth foto / Shutterstock.com

Maybe religion really is the opiate of the masses – just not the way Karl Marx imagined.

A University of Washington study posits that worship services at megachurches can trigger feelings of transcendence and changes in brain chemistry – a spiritual “high” that keeps congregants coming back for more.

“We see this experience of unalloyed joy over and over again in megachurches. That’s why we say it’s like a drug,” said James Wellman, an associate professor of American religion who co-authored the study.

The study, “‘God is like a drug’: Explaining Interaction Ritual Chains in American Megachurches” was presented on Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Denver.

Derek Flood 07-26-2012

Biblical literalism, and the corresponding idea of the inerrancy of scripture, has been bumping up against the sciences for a long time.

Way back in the Renaissance, the church insisted that the Bible taught that the sun revolved around the earth, and charged Galileo with heresy for claiming otherwise. Today, the debate between the Bible and natural science continues, most notably in the evolution/creation debate.

While discussions of religion and science usually revolve around conflicts with natural science, I'd like to propose that the place we really should be placing our attention is the relationship between faith and the social sciences.

As our understanding of all science grows, it becomes harder and harder to maintain the position of biblical literalism without seeming absurd.

Maybe we haven't all heard the thunder clap yet, but the lightning bolt struck a while ago. We are going to have to adjust our reading of the Bible to coincide with a modern scientific understanding of the universe. In broad strokes, that shift has already happened.

Aaron Taylor 05-21-2010
Sometimes in life you learn best not from the times that you shine, but from the times that you act like a total ignoramus. It seems that racism and fear of outsiders are on the rise in the U.S.A.
LaToya Brown 05-20-2010
One's wealth is determined by the value of one's assets minus one's debt.
Rose Marie Berger 03-24-2010
Today I was interviewed by a sociology student who wanted to know more about "social justice." I was happy to talk to her.
Becky Garrison 02-15-2010

As I stated in an earlier blog post, the juxtaposition of reading Philip Gulley's book http://www.amazon.com/gp/p

Alfonso Wieland 01-19-2010
[En español] Haiti is an example of how both flesh and bones politicians as well as countries can look convincingly l
Alfonso Wieland 01-19-2010
[English version] Haití es ejemplo de cómo los políticos de carne y hueso pero también las nacio
Beverly Pratt 09-08-2009
I am a Latina sociologist and an activist-in-training who has spent substantial time with scholars and activists studying U.S. Latina/o communities from both professional and personal viewpoints.

With the bicentennials of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin the subject of numerous conferences, articles, and television shows this month, we also should remember another important commemoration in 2009: the centennial of the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Bart Campolo 01-23-2009
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