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Inventing American Religion – Polls, Surveys, and the Tenuous Quest for a Nation's Faith - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Inventing American Religion: Polls, Surveys, and the Tenuous Quest for a Nation's Faith

Robert Wuthnow


A billion dollar a year polling industry purports to tell us not only which political candidates will win, but also how we are practicing our faith. How many Americans went to church last week? Have they been born again? Is there a war on Christmas? Are atheists winning? Do miracles happen? No matter the topic, pollsters have the answer. It has become easy to take all of this for granted. And yet, we must ask if all is quite what it seems. Response rates have plummeted. A large majority of the public doubts that polls can be trusted. The time has come for serious questions to be asked about th ... More

Keywords: religion, American religious history, polls, surveys, born again, Gallup, church attendance, response rates

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780190258900
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190258900.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert Wuthnow, author
Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University

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