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Reconsidering Immigration https://t.co/aAcZEyCwk9 @profyancey
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Levin’s book, “Religion and the Social Sciences” featured in ReligionWatch

The new book Religion and the Social Sciences (Templeton Foundation Press, $24.47) brings together contributors to account for the place of religion in their respective disciplines—from criminology and family psychology to outliers like epidemiology and gerontology (although the latter discipline has dealt with religious topics for over a century). Editor Jeff Levin of Baylor University writes that while sociology is the most active field in researching religious subjects, writing and research on religion has grown in most disciplines. But until recently, those doing research in these fields tended to be a “beleaguered lot,” often bringing these scholars together to make common cause. In his chapter on political science, Anthony Gill writes that there has been a “great awakening” in the field of political science since 2001 and the growth of religious terrorism. He notes that not only do many political scientists recognize that believers may bring their values to bear on political actions, but that “now we are open to approaches that see religious actors and organizations influenced by a whole host of incentive structures, many of which have commonalities with other political phenomena….”

Much of the recent growth in religious research in social science has taken place in economics, but Charles North notes that much more work needs to be done on the theoretical level. Along with several chapters on the growing body of research showing correlations between religious faith and physical, psychological, and family health and wellbeing, as well as the preventative role faith-based efforts seem to play regarding criminal behavior, Levin concludes the book with an overview of the new field of the epidemiology of religion. This study of population-wide patterns and causes of health and mortality has focused more on the preventative roles of religion and less on the clinical outcomes, but Levin writes that approaches that also include populations suffering from particular health challenges, as well as ones that study more diverse religious groups (other than Christian), represent the next frontier of this discipline.