Posts Tagged ‘education’

The Lord is their shepherd: New study reveals who reads the Bible – and why

Favorite biblical book: The Psalms. Percentage of Americans who read the Bible on their own: About half. And far and away the No. 1 reason they pick up Scripture is for personal prayer and devotion. A major new study on American Bible reading offers insights into how, why and when Americans read Scripture outside of worship.

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Five hopeful signs for U.S. congregations

How tough have times become for religious leaders? Benedict XVI became the first pope to resign in six centuries, declaring both strength of mind and body are necessary to oversee the church “in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith.” Yet there are also more hopeful trends about the health and mission of houses of worship. The latest wave of the U.S. Congregational Life Survey, now available for download and exploration on the Association of Religion Data Archives, shares elements of growth and ongoing strengths in congregations.

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Amid violent protests and provocative films, religion journalists create global path to understanding

The recent upheaval associated with the release of a crude, anti-Islamic film shows how issues relating to faith can cross borders with startling speed and consequences. Now is the time for the type of knowledgeable, on-the-ground reporting that provides careful international perspective regarding the complex motives behind these events. Yet too often, limited by cultural biases, this broader understanding gets lost at home and abroad amid advocacy journalism and pack reporting that reinforce popular misconceptions or fears of religious minorities and religion in public life. But here is the great news. Change is coming with the new International Association of Religion Journalists.

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Don’t Stop Thinking about the Money

Does placing time, talent and treasure in spiritual pursuits pay off? For many people, the answer is yes. Among the findings of recent studies in religion and economics, researchers report that children whose parents were observant tended to stay in school longer and get better jobs and that the poor in particular find religion a beneficial use of their time. Faith also extends to financial matters, with investors in religious mutual funds being less likely to react to market volatility even with lower returns than secular funds. There also is an economic downside for religious groups, however. Studies indicated that a rise in the welfare state contributed to steep declines in religiosity among some Western democracies and that the well-off are more likely than their less fortunate brethren to spend time at work and play than at prayer.

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