Mark A. Smith is professor of Political Science and an adjunct professor of Comparative Religion and Communication at the University of Washington. His research focuses on economic and religious groups, ideas, and influences in American politics. In his new book, Secular Faith: How Culture Has Trumped Religion in American Politics, Dr. Smith argues that religion is not nearly the unchanging conservative influence in American politics that we have come to think it is and is best understood as responding to changing political and cultural values rather than shaping them.
Welcome to the Morning Buzz, PRRI’s morning dose of religion-related news with a shot of data – because what doesn’t liven up a morning round-up like some public opinion numbers? Have you ever wanted to live alone on your own private island? For most of us, those impulses are fleeting (and usually occur, at least in my experience, while waiting in line at the DMV), but this man actually did it.
Today is the National Day of Prayer, as well as the National Day of Reason. For more on these parallel observances, check out our blog.
Are Millennials the most narcissistic generation? It’s not a term younger Millennials’ use to describe their generation according to the 2012 Millennial Values Survey, although some do use the terms “lazier” and more “entitled” when comparing their generation to their parents’ generation.
Apocalyptic thinking is alive and well: according to a new international poll from Reuters, nearly 15% of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime. Last spring, PRRI found that 44% of Americans attribute the severity of recent natural disasters to what the Bible calls the “end times.”
An interesting question: is Obama more popular than he should be?
Writer Jonathan Merritt’s new book, A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars, just came out. In the book, Merritt explores how Millennials could change modern-day Christianity. For more on younger Millennials’ conflicted views about present-day Christianity, check out our recent survey.