On religion/secularism in America/Europe:
Have you come to any preliminary conclusions about the likely changes in religious life in these two societies in the coming decades?
Most broadly speaking, I don’t think that America is going to become much more secular or Europe much more religious. I think the basic structures are here. In America, I think this is very unlikely to change. There are some things that are happening which are interesting, and I think the increasing middle-class and higher education status of the evangelical community is going to make a difference. The interesting question is: will they change and become more like mainline Protestants or will they retain their distinctiveness and influence the culture? That’s something that’s happening in an interesting way. I wouldn’t dare to predict what this will look like forty years from now.
(as if i needed another thought to complicate my research. thanks a lot peter berger! RT tim keller by way of mike hickerson. this does make me want to do a study down the line, perhaps looking at majors or degree aspirations within a sample of evangelical college students and seeing if there any patterns related to attitudes. or a study of degree aspirations for women that identify as born again compared to the rest of the population, and also looking to see if there’s any change between the first and fourth years of college. or a comparison between women attending christian colleges vs. everybody else. or muslims. holy cow, that could be interesting. this is why i need to get grad students who can run spss…)