Christmas from the Wise Men’s Point of View: The Apocryphal Revelation of the Magi - Brent Landau lecture Nov. 29 https://t.co/Y7LCVlk1fC
Where young evangelicals are headed – @ayjay https://t.co/mT0Yqfo2tO
Roy Moore and the confused identity of today’s “evangelical” voter https://t.co/u8pviYyoxR Thomas Kidd via @voxdotcom
Evangelical Preaching in North America in the Late Twentieth Century - David Bebbington https://t.co/xusfZMgpmm
Not All Turkey and Touchdowns https://t.co/VjgvSSGYvd Thomas Kidd, @TGC #Thanksgiving
A Lost Century, and a Slipped Date https://t.co/THlyi0Qcw1 Philip Jenkins via @anxious_bench @PatheosEvang
State Department Fails to Meet Deadline for "Countries of Particular Concern" Designations https://t.co/JpetGoH4mo @USCIRF
Faith and the Challenges of Secularism: A Jewish-Christian-Muslim Trialogue @McCormickProf https://t.co/7AnfZL2Kn1
What’s behind the New Testament? https://t.co/y8SEzJY9wG @jonestony via @ChristianCent
Houses of Parliament to be lit up in red for persecuted Christians | @CatholicHerald https://t.co/QEMlG64T1K h/t… https://t.co/LnfyZ9b9ss

Scholars Will Challenge “Secularization Myth” Nov. 10 at National Press Club

endofreligion_washington-11.10Nov. 2, 2015

Follow us on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia

Media contact: Terry Goodrich, 254-710-3321

WACO, Texas (Nov. 3, 2015) — Religion scholars from Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) will refute surveys that report the decline of American faith during a Nov. 10 conference in Washington, D.C.

The event — “The End of Religion?” — will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW and is hosted by Baylor in Washington.

Topics and speakers will include:

 

  • “A Godless American Founding?”Thomas Kidd, Ph.D., associate director of Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion“Some books on the American Founding have argued that it was a ‘godless’ Founding, led by skeptical Enlightenment figures. The truth is more complex and more fascinating. Although the Founders had a wide range of personal beliefs, they broadly agreed on public religious principles such as liberty of conscience and equality by creation. It is true that Revolutionary skeptics such as Thomas Jefferson predicted that the end of traditional religion was at hand in America. He could not have been more wrong.”
  • “Godless World? Signs of a Global Religious Revival”Rodney Stark, Ph.D. co-director of ISR“The world is far more religious than it has ever been. Around the globe, four of every five people claim to belong to an organized faith and many of the rest say they often attend worship services. In Latin America, Protestant churches have converted tens of millions, and Catholics are going to Mass in unprecedented numbers. There are more churchgoing Christians in Sub-Saharan Africa that anywhere else on earth, and China may soon become home of the most Christians. Meanwhile, although not growing as rapidly as Christianity, Islam enjoys far higher levels of member commitment than it has for centuries, and the same is true for Hinduism, and perhaps for Buddhism too. Furthermore, in every nook and cranny left by organized faiths, all manner of unconventional supernaturalism are booming — 38 percent of the French believe in astrology.”
  • “Godless Europe?”Philip Jenkins, Ph.D., co-director of ISR’s Program on Historical Studies of Religion“By all accounts, Europe seems to be the world’s best case study of rapid and extreme secularization. Yet even here, we find far more signs of religious involvement and active interest in spirituality than we might expect from the standard stereotype. Even in Europe, the alleged graveyard of faith, Christianity still shows signs of unexpected vigor, and faith takes unexpectedly traditional forms.”
  • “Godless Lives: Does Religion Matter for Our Well-being?”Jeff Levin, Ph.D., epidemiologist and director of ISR’s Program Religion and Population“Religion exhibits a positive influence on human well-being, across religious and demographic categories, and has done so consistently and undiminished for decades. Thousands of studies have investigated the impact of religion or faith on dimensions of physical and mental health and well-being. Most of these studies have found positive, statistically significant effects. These findings are consistent and increasing over time, indicating a salutary impact of faith on well-being.”
  • “The Myth of American Piety?”Byron R. Johnson, Ph.D., director of ISR“Much of what we hear about American religion is simply inaccurate or misleading and often tends to be based either on no data, selective data, bad data or misinterpretations of solid data. What we know about American religion — based on decades of rigorous national data — is rarely featured in media accounts and confirms in unambiguous ways the remarkable vitality of American religious life.”
  • “Toward a Godless America?”J. Gordon Melton, Ph.D., ISR Distinguished Professor of American Religious History“Recent coverage of American religious life, by focusing on the decline of some of the larger denominations and the new organized life of non-theistic communities, have missed the larger story that since World War II, religion in the United States has grown spectacularly and ahead of the population curve. America is now the most religious it has ever been with Church membership at an all-time high and relatively new worshipping communities representing the spectrum of the world’s religions now spread across the urban landscape. As a nation in which the great majority of its people have affiliated with a religious community, without government coercion, America is possibly the most religious country that the world has ever seen.”

    To register and learn more, visit www.baylorisr.org.

    ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

    Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

    ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR STUDIES OF RELIGION

    Launched in August 2004, the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) exists to initiate, support and conduct research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. The institute’s mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history, and embraces the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict. While always striving for appropriate scientific objectivity, ISR scholars treat religion with the respect that sacred matters require and deserve. For more information, visit www.baylorisr.org.