Is America Getting Less Religious?

The United States is unique among countries in the developed world for its high levels of religious participation. The wave of secularization that swept through Europe in the 20th century seemed to pass our country by. In recent years, however, signs of secularization have started to reach our shores.

Everyone’s heard about the rise of the “nones,” namely, those Americans who, when asked about their religious affiliation, identify as atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular.” Approximately 20% of Americans identify as “nones” today, as opposed to 5% in 1994. And the percentage of “nones” is much higher than 20% among younger generations.

My guest for this episode of BaerTalk is Mark Chaves, Anne Firor Scott Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Duke University. Prof. Chaves is the author of American Religion: Contemporary Trends, which describes the trends and changes in American religion in a highly accessible way. I asked Mark about the “nones,” the rise of religious conservatives, political polarization within American churches, the collapse of mainline Protestantism, and other interesting topics in this podcast. 

You can listen below or on iTunes, Spotify, etc. – wherever you go to listen to podcasts.



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