Is Trump capable of change? Not so far, humility scholars reflect

Shortly before the 2016 election, we asked three leading scholars to reflect on humility and the presidency. The hope held out then was that should Trump be successful, the demands of the job would tone down his divisive rhetoric and lead him to become more humble. So how is Trump doing? The consensus in follow-up conversations: Not so good.

[Read full column...]

Faithful measures deepen understanding of religion

In a new book, “Faithful Measures: New Methods in the Measurement of Religion,” leading religion researchers across academic disciplines explore an array of evolving new tools and measures that can help deepen understanding of the role of religion in public and private lives today. They include ways to compare polls on factors from survey methodology to question wording for a clearer understanding of their value and potential bias.

[Read full column...]

Religious freedom, civility are at heart of struggle for democracy in Asia

Political appeals to religious and secular constituencies have roiled democracies across Asia and the world, prominent journalists, scholars, analysts and religious leaders revealed at a conference in Jakarta. But that does not mean Islam or other major religions are incompatible with democracy, participants noted. What does matter is that the religious freedoms and dignity of all groups are protected and respected.

[Read full column...]

Subscribe to Ahead of Trend:

GlobalPlus: Sharia

For hundreds of millions of Muslims, Sharia is a way or a path to divine understanding that enables human beings to reach their full potential. So why does so much public conversation about "sharia" or "sharia law" focus on extreme interpretations grounded in intolerance and ignorance? The answers are complex, involving historical, political, cultural, regional and religious factors that need to be understood in context. Yet complexity and reason are often dangerously absent amid the emotion and politics attached to Sharia.

[Read full column...]

GlobalPlus: The nonreligious in the world today

Who are the nonreligious? Depending on how they are counted, the nonreligious today may be considered the world's third largest 'religion,' trailing only Christianity and Islam. They exercise an increasingly influential voice on issues from the immigration crisis in Europe to secular-religious tensions in Asia Pacific. Now a developing body of research is shedding critical light on the diversity and complexity of this group in an age when the makeup and balance of religious and nonreligious populations, along with their shared history, matters in ways both small and large.

[Read full column...]

GlobalPlus: Religion and death

Across the world, billions of worshippers this weekend will be going to mosques, temples, churches and other places of worship hearing messages declaring that the choices they make in this life can affect their eternal destiny. How each of them, and secular individuals, face the great existential question of the meaning of life in the face of mortality can make a major difference in areas from mental health to preventing terrorism and promoting more generous, compassionate societies less likely to experience civil strife, new research shows.

[Read full column...]

View GlobalPlus Archives
Subscribe to GlobalPlus:

Quizzes
Test your knowledge of contemporary issues with fun quizzes that can be enjoyed by wide audiences.
See All Quizzes

Resources
Providing deadline access to the finest national and international data on religion.
National Profiles

ARDA's National Profiles provide detailed data by country on religious adherents, religious freedom, demographics and a host of other social measures. Choose a country below to see its profile:

US Denominations

Our American Denominations feature provides detailed information and family trees for over 400 U.S. religious denominations.

The following primers and interactive tutorials were developed by theARDA.com and the International Center for Journalists.
Primers
Tutorials

Ahead of the Trend columns, GlobalPlus reports and religion quizzes bring you the latest news in religion research from throughout the world. This is a collegial effort, enlisting the cooperation of researchers, universities, journal editors, institutes and associations of scholars to increase the impact and awareness of important findings in religion research.

About The Author
David Briggs, a former national writer for The Associated Press who holds a master's degree from Yale Divinity School, is consistently honored among the Top 10 secular religion writers and reporters in North America.