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Changing FaithThe Dynamics and Consequences of Americans' Shifting Religious Identities$
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Darren E. Sherkat

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814741269

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814741269.001.0001

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Religious Identification in America

Religious Identification in America

(p.31) 1 Religious Identification in America
Changing Faith

Darren E. Sherkat

NYU Press

This chapter examines how religious affiliations in the United States changed from 1972 until 2012. It begins with an overview of changes in religious identification across four decades of the General Social Survey before moving to a discussion of how these shifts are revealed by generational changes in religious origin and affiliation. It then considers the role of race and immigration in determining religious identifications. It shows that shifts in religious identification are connected to religious mobilization, and thus provide an important image of religious change. It also discusses the link between religion and ancestry among immigrants and concludes by suggesting that the United States is becoming less Protestant and less Christian in part because the immigrant groups populating the nation have changed and because younger generations are more likely to reject religious identification.

Keywords:   religious affiliation, United States, religious identification, race, immigration, religious mobilization, religious change, religion, ancestry, immigrants

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