Most Americans believe God is concerned with their personal well-being and is directly involved in their personal affairs, according to new research out of the University of Toronto.
Using data from two recent national surveys of Americans, UofT Sociology Professor Scott Schieman examined peoples' beliefs about God's involvement and influence in everyday life. His research discovers new patterns about these beliefs and the ways they differ across education and income levels.
Schieman's study, published in the March issue of the journal Sociology of Religion, also highlights the following findings:
Overall, most people believe that God is highly influential in the events and outcomes in their lives. Specifically:
According to Schieman: "Many of us might assume that people of higher social class standing tend to reject beliefs about divine intervention. However, my findings indicate that while this is true among those less committed to religious life, it is not the case for people who are more committed to religious participation and rituals."
He adds: "This study extends sociological inquiry into the ways that people of different social strata think about God's influence in everyday life. Given the frequency of God talk in American culture, especially in some areas of political discourse, this is an increasingly important area for researchers to document, describe, and interpret."
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