Home > Uncategorized > Surveying religious knowledge « The Immanent Frame

Surveying religious knowledge « The Immanent Frame

Following the release last week of the results of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life’s U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey, which was widely reported as having demonstrated Americans’ considerable lack thereof, we invited a dozen leading scholars to weigh in on the survey’s significance…

Richard Amesbury…

It suggests that the conceptual maps they use to do this don’t always conform to the expectations of demographers.

Instead of concluding that Americans lack “religious knowledge” because they don’t know what social scientists think they should, we might want to ask what, if anything, the study reveals about lived religion…

Eddie S. Glaude, Jr…

If our knowledge of other religions (even our own) is shoddy, then what constitutes the substance of our toleration of others? Is it simply a procedural concern? And, more importantly, if we fail to know basic facts about others, do we make it easier to retreat into the comfort of insular spaces, deaf to the claims of others? Do we expect, at the end of the day, no matter our public announcements to the contrary, that all others should sound and believe as the majority of Americans do? Is that the price of entry into the public domain?…

Paul Lichterman…

“Grim prospects for evangelical Protestantism.” How else do we make sense of the fact that after decades of growing churches, multi-million dollar television ministries, bestselling book series—and VeggieTales to boot—only 28 percent of white evangelicals answered correctly that Protestantism teaches salvation through faith alone?  Combine that with the finding that nearly twice as many of that same population know that the Koran is Islam’s holy book, and we arrive all too easily at the crudest, culture-warring claims about rising Islam’s threat to Christian values…

Vincent Lloyd…

The Pew Forum’s Religious Knowledge Survey examines one type of religious knowledge: knowledge-that. Respondents were asked whether certain propositions about world religions were true. But it is an open question whether this really is the sort of knowledge that we have in mind when we are talking about religious knowledge. At least sometimes, it seems like we mean knowledge-how…

Religious knowledge might actually be a form of knowledge that resists reduction to either knowledge-how or knowledge-that. If these are secularist reductions, religious knowledge from the atheist’s perspective, what might the post-secular alternative look like?…

James K.A. Smith…

But what if religion is not primarily about knowledge? What if the defining core of religion is more like a way of life, a nexus of action?…

I’m reminded of an observation Wittgenstein makes in the Philosophical Investigations: One could be a master of a game without being able to articulate the rules.

via Surveying religious knowledge « The Immanent Frame.

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