Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

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.

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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.

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Farewell my lonely: Science reveals how faith can help meet social needs

Both the social networks provided by religious communities and the intrinsic belief of being cared for by a loving divinity appear to protect against loneliness, research indicates. Having a “best friend” in God can make a major difference, researchers in one study noted.

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How perceptions of God help determine self-esteem, mental health

A growing body of research is revealing the mental health benefits of having a close personal relationship with a caring divinity. In one of the latest national studies, the more participants reported feeling God’s love, presence and guidance, the more likely they were to agree they are a person of worth.

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Survey finds a nation divided by faith, politics: Muslims, atheists, conservative Christians bear brunt of fears, distrust

Technology does not scare us. Nor especially does the fear of Hell or worries about getting into heaven. But the fears and suspect motives we place on belief systems different than our own very much concerns Americans, according to the latest wave of the Baylor Religion Survey. For centuries, Catholics and Jewish people bore the[ READ FULL COLUMN ]

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Walking the 'fine line' among courage, love and humility in Charlottesville

Amid voices of division, the people of Charlottesville, white and black evangelicals, Jews, Catholics, and people not affiliated with any religious group, lifted up messages balancing love, hope and moral non-equivalence at several sites surrounding the place where one of their own, Heather Heyer, was murdered. One might even call the public response at these memorials a profile in courage and humility.

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Global studies reveal 5 ways faith can reduce bullying, empower victims

A new wave of international scholarship addressing public concerns over bullying is extending into religious communities.
Researchers are discovering that congregations are uniquely positioned to offer the type of social support and the promotion of values such as empathy, forgiveness and love of neighbor that appear to be effective ways of addressing the issue.

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Study: Clergywomen close gender pay gap to 7 cents on the dollar

Women ministers are making dramatic strides in achieving equal pay with male clergy. The gender pay gap shrunk from women clergy making 60 cents on the dollar compared to men in 1976 to 93 cents on the dollar in 2016, a new study finds. But women clergy still face significant obstacles to equal pay.

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Not just a joke: Studies find religious humor can break through prejudice, build social ties

Jokes about religion should be left to the professionals, not the politicians, a comprehensive new survey of religion and humor finds. The research is part of a larger project involving several Scandinavian studies on religion and humor that indicate support for a less hostile, more nuanced approach to religious humor that has the potential to break through the polarization in the West over perceived threats from immigrants and religious minorities.

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