Atheists are getting evangelical and congregational, bemused press reports would have it. There are the international bus ad campaigns – “Why believe in a God? Just be good for goodness’ sake,” in the U.S., and “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” in Richard Dawkins’ Britain.
More recently, a … More >
In 2002, Mike Hout and I identified a new trend in Americans’ relationship with religion. Around 1990, the percentage of respondents to the General Social Survey (GSS) who, when asked their “religious preference,” picked the “no religion” option starting rising, doubling from about 7 percent, where it had been for many … More >
The great scholar Robert N. Bellah, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at UC Berkeley and winner of the National Humanities Medal in 2000, died July 30. (He was also a colleague and friend.) Bellah’s seminal contributions range from analyses of Japanese society to a recent, epoch-spanning book on the history of … More >
America has long been the most religious of the affluent, western nations, having the most professing and practicing population. (A couple of the nearly 100% Catholic countries are close, but only Canada otherwise.) Explaining this aspect of American exceptionalism has preoccupied many scholars of religion. Part of the answer is … More >
With the resignation of Pope Benedict and election of a new pope, amidst what seems an unending turmoil over sex abuse by priests, pollsters have understandably thought this a good moment to inquire about American Catholics’ attitudes on religious matters. The results describe a major disconnection between the Roman Catholic … More >
Today, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign from his ministry at the end of the month, citing declining strength in his advanced age. His Papacy began in 2005 and many of his written messages reflect upon the global economic and financial crisis that characterized the world to which he ministered.
Most notably, his … More >
Saturday mail delivery may in the near future be a thing of the past. All the more surprising that Americans once had not only Saturday delivery but Sunday mail delivery as well.
1890s post office (USPS)
The century-long struggle that ended postal service on the Sabbath, a campaign to protect both the Lord’s Day and American … More >
In a world full of uncertainties, it is comforting to find someone who knows the truth and the courage to speak it. That is what his followers found in Harold Camping, a Christian minister in Oakland, California. Camping preached that the Bible foretold the end of the world … More >
In 1907, a delegation of ministers from the New York City Federation of Churches visited President Theodore Roosevelt to ask his assistance in halting an alarming decline in the churches’ “hold on the people.” Roosevelt promised “to aid the cause in every way possible.” Ministers in the early 20th century … More >