A venture into the art and science of measuring religion in everyday life
In an era of rapid technological advances, the measures and methods used to generate data about religion have undergone remarkably little change. Faithful Measures pushes the study of religion into the 21st century by evaluating new and existing measures of religion and introducing new methods for tapping into religious behaviors and beliefs.
This book offers a global and innovative approach, with chapters on the intersection of religion and new technology, such as smart phone apps, Google Ngrams, crowdsourcing data, and Amazon buying networks. It also shows how old methods can be improved by using new technology to create online surveys with experimental designs and by developing new ways of mining data from existing information. Chapter contributors thoroughly explain how to employ these new techniques, and offer fresh insights into understanding the complex topic of religion in modern life.
Beyond its quantitative contributions, Faithful Measures will be an invaluable resource for inspiring a new wave of creativity and exploration in our connected world
"Few scholars have done more than Finke and Bader to teach us how to measure religion. In Faithful Measures they and their collaborators show readers the best surveys on religion have to offer as well as the newest innovations for understanding religion. Their book should be read by anyone concerned about how religion is changing across the globe and how we might better measure those changes." ~Elaine Howard Ecklund,Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, Rice University
"While seeming simple at first glance, measuring religion well in social science is exceedingly difficult, especially when comparing different societies and religious traditions. Serious efforts to improve and diversify measures of religion have, with few exceptions, been woefully lacking. Faithful Measures offers a decisive intervention in that situation, which both contributes and points the way to further advances. It is well worth the read for all scholars in the field." ~Christian Smith,Wm. R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology, University of Notre Dame
"This volume stands by itself as a unique social scientists guide to researching religion. An additional virtue of this volume is it provides many examples of how creativity can be deployed new methods for studying religion. Perhaps the most valuable thing readers may take from this volume is inspiration for the new and creative methods they might develop in their own areas of inquiry." ~Sociology of Religion
"The editors have brought together a useful collection of original chapters addressing various methodological matters that prompt its readers to think more carefully and innovatively about the measures we use to study religion and the means by which we do so." ~Review of Religious Research