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?
Travel alert: if you are planning to investigate the finer points of time travel, best not to do so in China.
A newly discovered early Christian text indicates that the debate over whether Jesus had a wife (and whether he had a female disciple) was far from settled in early Christianity. The papyrus fragment, in the words of Catholic scholar Michael D’Antonio, “invites a reconsideration of orthodox teachings about gender and sex.” (It does not, however, mean that Dan Brown is right about anything.)
A fascinating look at the dramatic political polarization in the United States over the past few decades.
Forget the presidential debates – this is the fight we’ve been waiting for. Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart will face off in DC in early October.
The leaked video of Mitt Romney talking about the 47% of Americans who don’t pay federal income tax has raised questions about who, exactly, those people are (they appear, at one point, to have included Mitt Romney).
At Religion & Politics, Richard Cizik writes about his move toward the “new evangelicalism.”
If you’re DC-based, it’s not too late to sign up to attend the release of our new Race, Class, and Culture Survey. The event will take place tomorrow (Thursday) at 10 am. More information is available here.