Changing FaithThe Dynamics and Consequences of Americans' Shifting Religious Identities

Changing FaithThe Dynamics and Consequences of Americans' Shifting Religious Identities

Darren E. Sherkat

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780814741269

Publisher: NYU Press

Abstract

More than anywhere else in the Western world, religious attachments in America are quite flexible, with over 40 percent of U.S. citizens shifting their religious identification at least once in their lives. This book draws on empirical data from large-scale national studies to provide a comprehensive portrait of religious change and its consequences in the United States. With analysis spanning across generations and ethnic groups, the book traces the evolution of the experience of Protestantism and Catholicism in the United States, the dramatic growth of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, and the rise of non-identification, now the second most common religious affiliation in the country. The book details the impact of religious commitments on broad arenas of American social life, including family and sexuality, economic well-being, political commitments, and social values. Exploring religious change among those of European heritage as well as of Eastern and Western European immigrants, African Americans, Asians, Latin Americans, and Native Americans, the book not only provides a comprehensive and ethnically inclusive demographic overview of the juncture between religion and ethnicity within both the private and public sphere, but also brings empirical analysis back to the sociology of religion.