Thesis Statement On Religion In America

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Consistent with this view, substantial evidence confirms that low SES individuals are more likely to seek God's will through prayer (Albrecht and Heaton 1984), and tend to report higher levels of divine interaction (Pollner 1989), feeling connected with God (Krause 2002), religious meaning and coping (Krause 2003, 1995), God-mediated control (Krause 2005, 2007), and the sense of divine control (Schieman et al. Moreover, low SES groups tend to derive greater psychological benefits from religiosity (Ellison 1991; Krause 1995; Pollner 1989).

Another view predicts the reasons; I label it the “demythologized beliefs” hypothesis.

In supplemental analyses, I also assess whether or not the association between SES and the belief in divine involvement is contingent upon individuals' beliefs about the Bible as the literal word of God.

It is well established that belief in God is pervasive and influential in contemporary American society—but do people believe about the nature of God's presence in everyday life?

Moreover, the social inequality-religion dynamic remains relevant in contemporary American society (Smith and Faris 2005), particularly in the recent rise of what is known as the “prosperity gospel” (Hunt 1998; Luo 2006).

Despite the well-established prevalence and significance of beliefs about God, however, the patterning of these beliefs across social strata remains less clear.In an effort to extend this tradition, I examine the association between SES and beliefs about God independently and in with other aspects of religious involvement, including the frequency of attending religious services, praying, reading religious texts, and subjective religious identification.Using data from two 2005 national surveys of American adults, I address three questions: (1) Is SES associated with beliefs about divine involvement and divine control?Across historical times, societies, and cultures, individuals have maintained a heterogeneous assortment of mental representations of God, often assigning to Him human attributes that imply something about His involvement in human affairs (i.e., “master,” “father,” and “friend”; Armstrong 1993; Miles 1995; Sharot 2001; Stark 2001, 2007). The concept of a with God identifies the ways that many people maintain a bond with the divine that parallels social relations with other people (Glock and Stark 1965; Pollner 1989).Orthodox Christian theology socializes the belief that God desires to maintain a special connection with each individual and commonly intercedes in their lives (Ellison et al. These beliefs often include the conviction that God is a conscious, omnipotent being who has explicit expectations and desires for each human being (Black 1999; Stark and Finke 2000). According to Stark and Glock (1968: 25), “the most universal and basic element in Christian theologies is an elaborate set of assertions about the nature and will of an all-powerful and sentient God.” Similarly, Roberts and Davidson (1984) contend that the “theistic or traditional meaning system is the acceptance of God as the primary force governing and explaining life” (p. In this respect, God is the “uncaused first cause” of the universe (Sagan 2006).Individuals in disadvantaged socioeconomic conditions are purportedly more likely to construct a bond with the divine to compensate for their plight and acquire otherwise-unattainable rewards (Glock and Stark 1965; Stark 1972).This thesis posits that reliance upon an omnipotent deity who is perceived as satisfying desires may offset the deleterious psychological effects of immutable adversities in everyday life.My analyses focus on two potential influences that are central in sociological study of beliefs about God: SES and religious involvement.I propose that both independently shape beliefs in divine involvement and control and, more importantly, that the effects of one depend on levels of the other.Despite the increasing popularity of these recent polemics about religion, there is strong evidence that the vast majority of Americans maintain the belief in a personal God (Froese and Bader 2007), and these beliefs remain influential in many aspects of American social and political life (Wills 2007).Less is known, however, about the of those beliefs.


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