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Byron R. Johnson

Director, Institute for Studies of Religion
Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences

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Byron Johnson is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. He is the founding director of the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) as well as director of the Program on Prosocial Behavior.  He is a Senior Fellow at the Witherspoon Institute (Princeton), Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for Jewish and Community Research (San Francisco), and chief advisor for the Center for the Study of Religion and Chinese Society, Peking University (Beijing).  Before joining the faculty at Baylor University, Johnson directed research centers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Johnson recently completed a series of empirical studies for the Department of Justice on the role of religion in prosocial youth behavior and is a member of the Coordinating Council for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Presidential Appointment).  He is recognized as a leading authority on the scientific study of religion, the efficacy of faith-based organizations, domestic violence, and criminal justice.  Recent publications have examined the impact of faith-based programs on recidivism reduction and prisoner reentry and his new book, More God, Less Crime, was released in April 2011. He is working with the Gallup Organization on studies exploring religion and spirituality in the world.  He is the 2013 Lone Star Big Brother of the year for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Texas.