Site Features
  • Theories, Concepts & Measures: Theories, Concepts & Measures links major Theories to Concepts and Measures from available datasets in an interactive format.
  • ARDA Guiding Papers Series: Prominent scholars provide guidance on the study of religion, new research agendas, and/or commentaries on the current state of the study of religion.
[Viewing Matches 1-2]  (of 2 total matches in Site Features)
[Viewing Matches 1-1]  (of 1 total matches in QuickStats)
  • Secular Movement: Gaining prominence in the mid-20th century, the modern secular movement pushed for a society without religion.
  • Christian Fundamentalism: In the 1920s, Christian fundamentalism arose as a means to counter liberal interpretations of the Christian Bible and "secularizing" changes in society.
  • Abington School District v. Schempp: In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled that required Bible readings and recitation of the Lord's Prayer in the public schools was unconstitutional.
  • Home School Movement: The Home School Movement began in the 1970s and attracted evangelical Christians who feared the secular influences of public education.
  • Jerry Falwell Helps Found the Moral Majority : With the help of Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell in 1979, the founding of the Moral Majority would later influence Ronald Reagan's election in 1980.
  • Lemon v. Kurtzman: This 1971 ruling established an influential precedent (the "Lemon test") for whether a law violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
  • Jones, Robert "Bob": "Bob" Jones, Sr. (1883-1926) was a renowned evangelist and educator. He founded Bob Jones University, which promoted a conservative Christian education.
  • Missional Church Movement: Founded in 1998, the missional church movement arose and changed the focus of modern Christian missions.
  • New Evangelicalism: After World War II, a movement of conservative, but socially engaged Protestants emerged. They are known as the "new evangelicals."
  • Presbyterian Church v. Hull Memorial Presbyterian Church: In 1969, this Supreme Court case prohibited the government from interfering in doctrinal disputes between churches.
[Viewing Matches 1-10] > [View Matches 1-11]  (of 11 total matches in Timelines)
ARDA Dictionary
  • Secular:Someone or something not identified as religious or spiritual (Esposito et al. 2012b: 27).
  • Secularization:1) The process of a group or individual discarding religious beliefs and practices. 2) Sociologists also refer to a society being secularized when religion loses its public presence. 3) A theory about the eventual decline of religion due to modernity (i.e. science, economic development, pluralism, etc.), which is debated among social scientists (Reid et al. 1990: 1069-1070).
  • Secular Humanism:The lack of connection, or desire to connect to the transcendent, the sacred, God or the supernatural (Koenig et al. 2012: 47). It is a philosophy that involves beliefs, behavior and relationships valued by their own intrinsic merit. In this way, humans are believed to be capable of good without the need to believe in God or the divine. Secular humanists often are categorized, along with atheists and agnostics, as “non-religious” given they do not see the need for religion in instilling morality in society.
  • Sacralization:The process through which there is little differentiation between religious and secular institutions, and the primary aspects of life, from family to politics, are suffused with religious symbols, rhetoric and rituals (Stark and Finke 2000: 199).
  • Antinomianism:1) The belief that certain religious allegiances exempt one from following secular law. 2) The belief that secular laws ought to be disobeyed because they are evil (Smith 1995: 53). 3) A theological position in which subjective elements of Christianity are emphasized over objective elements of Christianity, like moral law. The famous "Antinomian Controversy" took place in the 1630s, where Anne Hutchinson was brought to trial in Massachusetts for claiming to follow her direct revelation of the Holy Spirit instead of Scripture alone. She was banished from the colony in 1638 (Reid et al. 1990: 69).
  • Conservative Protestantism:A broad social category of Protestantism that advocates a conservative theological position (e.g., the inspiration of the Bible, the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, etc.). Conservative Protestants are often subdivided into Evangelical Protestants and Fundamentalists, who differ in terms of their engagement with the secular non-Christian world.
  • Smith, Adam (1723-1790):Adam Smith was a Scottish philosopher and pioneer of political economics. He is well known for The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), often known just as Wealth of Nations . The latter not only is considered one of the first modern works of economics, but it also laid the foundation for economic theories of religion. In Wealth of Nations , he argues that clergy, much like secular producers, are motivated by self-interest. He also highlights the ways in which market forces constrain churches just as they do secular organizations. Finally, and perhaps most noteworthy, he argued that state regulation of religion and religious monopolies were harmful to religious vitality and produced more social conflict. These ideas underlie popular economics of religion theories, including rational choice theory and religious economies theory (see Finke and Stark 1992; Stark and Finke 2000).
  • Postmillennialism:The belief that the return of Christ will take place after the millennium, which may be a literal period of peace and prosperity or else a symbolic representation of the final triumph of the gospel. This new age will come through Christian teaching and preaching on earth. This view is often dismissed by critics as a Christian version of the secular idea of progress, but it was actually formulated by Puritan theologians (Reid et al. 1990: 919).
  • Social Network Theory:Studies of conversion, religious schisms and secularization utilize social network theory to understand the influence of community and networks on the religious life of individuals, groups and societies. In his classic study of suicide, Emile Durkheim used religion as an indicator of how well or poorly a society was socially integrated (Durkheim 1897). Other research indicates that religion actively builds social networks (Bainbridge 2006).
  • Anti-Semitism:Unreasoning hostility toward and discrimination against the Jews. It can range from a formal doctrine and from mild antipathy to active efforts to kill the Jews. German writer Wilhelm Marr coined the term in 1880 to distinguish between secular hatred for the Jews as a people and hatred toward the Jewish religion, although the modern usage of the word denotes hatred for the Jews and Judaism in all forms (Smith and Green 1995: 53).
[Viewing Matches 1-10] > [View Matches 1-20]  (of 20 total matches in the ARDA Dictionary)
Religious Family Trees
[Viewing Matches 1-2]  (of 2 total matches in Religion Family Trees)
Teaching Tools
[Viewing Matches 1-1]  (of 1 total matches in Teaching Tools)
Citations are taken from the Sociology of Religion Searchable Bibliographic Database, created and updated by Anthony J. Blasi (Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Notre Dame; University of Texas at San Antonio). The ARDA is not responsible for content or typographical errors.
  • Secular justifications of the world. A neo-Weberian typology of cosmodicies
    Schaefer, Robert (2021)
    Social Compass 68:1: 81-97.
    Develops a typology of secular counterparts to religious theodicies.
    Associated Search Terms: Theodicy; Secularism
  • Losing my religion as a natural experiment: How state pressure and taxes led to hurch disaffiliations between 1940 and 2010 in Germany.
    Stolz, Jörg, Detlef Pollack, Nan Dirk de Graaf, and Jean-Philippe Antonietti (2021)
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 60:1: 83-102.
    German separation (1949-89) & reunification a) made disaffiliations more likely in the 1950s & '60s East under Communism, b) shielded the East from factors favoring disaffiliation in the West in the late '60s & early '70s, c) reversed the positive education-disaffiliation link in the East, & d) led to disaffiliations in the East right after reunification.
    Associated Search Terms: Germany; Germany, East; Germany, West; Disaffiliation; Education; Secularization
  • Making meaning without a maker: Secular consciousness through narrative and cultural practice.
    Smith, Jesse M., and Caitlin L. Halligan (2021)
    Sociology of Religion 82:1: 85-110
    Based on field work in Sunday Assembly (secular) congregations in the U.S.A. & U.K. A sense of otherness, appeals to normative values, & reframing of existential questions in secular terms play a role in the lives of this nonreligious community.
    Associated Search Terms: Atheist; Participant observation; Sunday Assembly
  • The new sociology of religion.
    Cipriani, Roberto (2021)
    Encyclopedia 1, pp. 108.
    An update: secularization debate, nones, paradigm changes in the study of diversity, a&multiple religiosities.
    Associated Search Terms: Sociology of religion
  • Islamic religious education at the heart of the secular problem-space in Belgium.
    Groeninck, Mieke (2021)
    Social Compass 68:1: 25-41.
    Islamic education remains at the center of discussions concerning the place of Islam in Belgian society & in the formation of Belgian Muslim citizens.
    Associated Search Terms: Belgium; Education; Islam, Belgium
  • Church growth in times of secularization: A case study of people joining Evanelical congregations in the Netherlands.
    Vermeer, Paul, and Peer Scheepers (2021)
    Review of Religious Research 63:1: 43-66.
    Analyzes survey data from 6 thriving Evangelical congregations in the Netherlands. The growth is due to circulating believers rather than previously unchurched people.
    Associated Search Terms: Evangelical, Netherlands; Conversion; Netherlands
  • One conception of secularism for all? A comparison of conceptions of laïcité among nonbelievers, Catholics, and Muslims in France.
    Cohu, Medhi, Christelle Maisonneuve, and Benoit Testé (2021)
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 60:1: 103-112.
    Confirms 2 distinct lay concepts of laïcité differently emphasizing public expressions of religion, state religious neutrality, & equal treatment of religions. Net of religiosity, a restrictive concept was more prevalent among nonbelievers, an inclusive one among Muslims, & both equally prevalent among Catholics.
    Associated Search Terms: France; Catholic, France; Atheist, France; Islam, France; Laïcité
  • Health differences between religious and secular subgroups in the United States:Evidence from the General Social Survey.
    Walker, Mark H., Leah Drakeford, Samuel Stroope, Joseph O. Baker, and Alexander L. Smith (2021)
    Review of Religious Research 63:1: 67-81.
    Analyzes 1988-2018 General Social Survey (U.S.A.) data. When compared to conservative Protestants, theistic nones & atheists had higher levels of self-rated health, agnostics & low-certainty nones did not differ from conservative Protestants.
    Associated Search Terms: Atheist; Belief; Health; United States
  • Reconciliation and the Secular.
    Colorado, Carlos (2020)
    Social Compass 67:1: 72-85.
    The model of open secularism posited by Jocelyn Maclure and Charles Taylor allows space for religion as a fundamental component of secular democratic order and participation, central to processes of Reconciliation in Canada.
    Associated Search Terms: Secularism; Canada
  • Secularization theories in the twenty-first century: Ideas, evidence, and problems.
    Stolz, Jörg (2020)
    Social Compass 67:2: 282-308.
    Quantitative secularization research has shown how religion and religiosity are connected to insecurity, education, socialization, secular transition, secular competition, pluralism, and regulation. Comments by François Gauthier, pp. 309-314; David Voas, pp. 323-329; Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, pp. 330-336. Reply by Stolz, pp. 337-346.
    Associated Search Terms: Secularization
[Viewing Matches 1-10] > [View Matches 1-150]  (of 1766 total matches in Citations)
Data Archive
  • The 2000 American Rabbi Study:
    The data result from a mail survey of rabbis conducted in the fall and winter of 2000 in the four major movements of American Judaism-Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, and Reform. The first wave was sent two days before the presidential election. The data collection effort loosely paralleled the 2000 Cooperative Clergy Study format but differed in several important respects to capture concerns important to the Jewish community. The survey effort collected data on rabbi political activism, public political speech, political attitudes and electoral choices, thoughts on the role of religion in society, attitudes on issues related to Jewish unity and Jewish law, ratings of and membership in Jewish and secular political organizations, attitudes about Joseph Lieberman, and personal attributes, as well as aspects of congregations.
    Funded By: The data collection effort was funded by the Denison University Research Foundation and the Association for the Sociology of Religion .
    Collected: 2000, Uploaded 4/23/2010
  • Christian Universities as Moral Communities: Drinking, Sex, and Drug use among University Students in the United States:
    The data set represents responses to 120 questions regarding religious belief, religious practice, religious context, and social behavior, e.g., drinking, sex, drugs, worship, prayer, religious beliefs, Christian fundamentalism, health, well-being, tattoos, piercings. Data were gathered from respondents at 12 American colleges and universities. Six of these were large public schools; three were secular private schools; three were explicitly Christian and affiliated with conservative denominations. One public and one private school were geographically paired (less than 300 miles apart). These pairs were located in the US Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Midsouth, Northwest, and Southwest.
    Funded By: E.A. Franklin Charitable Trust
    Collected: 2021, Uploaded 1/29/2022
  • Jewish Day School Study, 1993:
    During the last several decades, two opposing trends have been taking place. On the one hand, there has been growth in the Jewish day school movement. On the other, there has been a serious decline in Jewish supplementary school enrollment and a defection from Jewish life of growing numbers of Jews. These two opposing trends give rise to several questions including: What happens when intensive and extensive Jewish education confronts a world full of secular, intermixing and challenging modalities? What role does a Jewish day school experience play in Jewish continuity of its exponents?

    This study seeks to assess the impact of Jewish all-day education. Questions such as the following are addressed: What kind of Jewish behavior do young adults who attend Jewish day schools exhibit? Do those who attended for longer periods of time demonstrate higher levels of Jewish observance and involvement? Is Jewish behavior of day school graduates related to things such as home background, Jewish camp experience, Israel visitation or study in Israel? What are the marriage patterns of graduates? Does a college education reduce the possibility that Jewish day school graduates will remain practicing Jews? In short, what is the Jewishness quotient of Jewish day school graduates who are at risk of losing their Jewish identity because of the lure of contemporary society?
    Funded By: Irving Stone
    Collected: 1993, Uploaded 3/30/1999
  • The Gravestone Index:
    This file is a record of the religious and secular information found on headstones and tombstones in the United States, Canada, Britain, and Australia. The death dates on the grave markers cover the period from the early 19th century to the early 21st century. Also included is a record of carvings, statues, and other objects connected to the front or back of the grave markers.
    Funded By: Wilbur Zelinsky
    Collected: 2007, Uploaded 8/12/2011
  • Survey of Religious, Social Service and Community Organizations in Metropolitan Chicago, 1996:
    This survey was conducted to supplement the research on congregations being conducted by the Religion in Urban America Program. The primary concern was to learn whether and to what extent religious, social service and community organizations related to and extended the work of churches. That is, whether they bridged geographic and/or social boundaries and whether there was a difference between religious and secular organizations with respect to the bridging function.
    Funded By: The Lilly Endowment, Inc. Park Ridge Center of Health, Faith, and Ethics
    Collected: 1996, Uploaded 7/20/1999
  • The Religion and State Project, Minorities Module, Round 2:
    This Religion and State-Minorities (RASM) dataset is supplemental to the Religion and State Round 2 (RAS2) dataset. It codes the RAS religious discrimination variable using the minority as the unit of analysis (RAS2 uses a country as the unit of analysis and, is a general measure of all discrimination in the country). RASM codes religious discrimination by governments against all 566 minorities in 175 countries which make a minimum population cut off. Any religious minority which is at least 0.25 percent of the population or has a population of at least 500,000 (in countries with populations of 200 million or more) are included. The dataset also includes all Christian minorities in Muslim countries and all Muslim minorities in Christian countries for a total of 597 minorities. The data cover 1990 to 2008 with yearly codings.

    These religious discrimination variables are designed to examine restrictions the government places on the practice of religion by minority religious groups. It is important to clarify two points. First, these variables focus on restrictions on minority religions. Restrictions that apply to all religions are not coded in this set of variables. This is because the act of restricting or regulating the religious practices of minorities is qualitatively different from restricting or regulating all religions. Second, this set of variables focuses only on restrictions of the practice of religion itself or on religious institutions and does not include other types of restrictions on religious minorities. The reasoning behind this is that there is much more likely to be a religious motivation for restrictions on the practice of religion than there is for political, economic, or cultural restrictions on a religious minority. These secular types of restrictions, while potentially motivated by religion, also can be due to other reasons. That political, economic, and cultural restrictions are often placed on ethnic minorities who share the same religion and the majority group in their state is proof of this.

    This set of variables is essentially a list of specific types of religious restrictions which a government may place on some or all minority religions. These variables are identical to those included in the RAS2 dataset, save that one is not included because it focuses on foreign missionaries and this set of variables focuses on minorities living in the country. Each of the items in this category is coded on the following scale:

    0. The activity is not restricted or the government does not engage in this practice.
    1. The activity is restricted slightly or sporadically or the government engages in a mild form of this practice or a severe form sporadically.
    2. The activity is significantly restricted or the government engages in this activity often and on a large scale.

    A composite version combining the variables to create a measure of religious discrimination against minority religions which ranges from 0 to 48 also is included.

    ARDA Note: This file was revised on October 6, 2017. At the PIs request, we removed the variable reporting on the minority's percentage of a country's population after finding inconsistencies with the reported values. For detailed data on religious demographics, see the Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project .
    Funded By: The John Templeton Foundation , Israel Science Foundation and The Sara and Simha Lainer Chair in Democracy and Civility
    Collected: 2008, Uploaded 7/11/2014
  • Comparative Cross-National Study in the Middle East and North Africa:
    The questionnaire used in this project (the Comparative Cross-National Study of Religious Fundamentalism, Developmental Idealism, Values, and Morality in the Middle East and North Africa) is part of the larger Middle Eastern Values Study (MEVS) and consists of over 250 items and covers the following topics:

    (1) Religious Fundamentalism-attitudinal measures of religious fundamentalism are constructed and extensively tested, which are applicable to both Christian and Muslim (Shia and Sunni) fundamentalism, are available for the entire eight countries.

    (2) Cultural Values-measures of attitudes toward gender relations, form of government, secular politics, morality, religiosity, national identity and pride, and other values are included for the entire eight countries.

    (3) Sources of News Information-measures of the sources of information that the respondents rely on, including radio, TV, newspapers, the Internet, mobile phone, and so forth are available for the entire eight countries.

    (4) Developmental Idealism-measures of the type of change respondents' associate with Westernization and the type of change they associate with development are available for only the five surveys carried out in 2011: Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. For more information on developmental idealism project, see

    (5) Political Engagement-measures of political engagement are available for Jordan, Tunisia, and Turkey. For other countries, there are a few questions on this topic.

    (6) Attitudes toward Violence-several items measuring attitudes toward political violence and suicide terrorism against Americans, Europeans, and people from the respondents' country included in the eight-country survey.

    (7) Demographics-Data on gender, age, marital status, area of residence, ethnicity, income, education, employment status and occupation, and self-described social class are available for all the countries.

    The questionnaire used for data collection in Turkey in 2013 includes a majority of the questions used in the data collection in the other countries.

    Note that the questionnaire used for Jordan in 2016 contains only a portion of the questions used in the data collection in other countries. This file is not included in the final dataset, but is available as a separate file. See the Middle Eastern Values Study website for more information.

    Funded By: Office of Naval Research , MITRE , University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language, Jack Shank Research Award through the Sociology of Religion Section of the American Sociological Association, Max Planck Institute , Eastern Michigan University , University of Michigan .
    Collected: 2016, Uploaded 11/20/2020
  • PRRI December 2016 Survey:
    The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) December 2016 Survey explores how the recent presidential election impacted social relationships and holiday celebrations. It asks how family disagreements over politics might impact holiday plans, and if Americans are blocking 'friends' on social media for sharing their political views. The survey also gauges views on which holiday greeting -- 'Happy Holidays' or 'Merry Christmas' -- stores and businesses should use to greet customers. Finally, the survey asks the public whether those celebrating Christmas view it as a religious or secular holiday.
    Funded By: The survey was made possible by generous grants from the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Ford Foundation .
    Collected: 2016, Uploaded 9/30/2021
  • Mennonite Church Member Profile, 1989:
    "The objectives of the survey were to obtain a profile of the religious beliefs, attitudes, and practices of members of the participating [Mennonite] identify trends in these areas that would provide clues regarding the impact of modernization on Mennonite life and thought....There was also interest in determining whether modernization involved increases in secularism, individualism, and materialism." (Kauffman and Driedger, 1991).
    Funded By: The project was under the supervision of an Administrative Committee composed of a representative from each of the five participating denominations. A budget of $70,000 was raised from the participating denominations, various church boards and several foundations.
    Collected: 1989, Uploaded 10/27/1998
[Viewing Matches 1-9]  (of 9 total matches in the Data Archive Files)
Questions/Variables on Surveys
  • WCDSTRL from Data from the ARDA National Profiles, 2005 Update: Religion Indexes, Adherents and Other Data
    Re-coding of World Christian Database State Religion variable (Grim and Finke, 2006)
    0) Atheist
    1) Secular
    2) Religious
    3) Specific religion
  • SACSECVL from World Values Survey, 2010
    Overall Secular values [SACSECVAL]
  • SCVLWGT from World Values Survey, 2010
    Weight for overall secular values [SECVALWGT]
  • SRCE2_98 from National Congregations Study, Panel Dataset (1998 and 2006-2007)
    (source2_98) Who provided these services to you? (SECOND MENTION)
    -3) All other missing data
    1) Private secular firm or sole practitioner (includes members)
    2) Private firm-sole practitioner, unspecified
    7) Publishing houses, religious
    11) Congregations (own denomination)
    13) Regional office of own denomination
    15) National office of own denomination
    17) Office of own denomination, level unspecified
    19) Other religious firm, organization or sole practitioner
    21) Can't tell
  • SRCE3_98 from National Congregations Study, Panel Dataset (1998 and 2006-2007)
    (source3_98) Who provided these services to you? (THIRD MENTION)
    -3) All other missing data
    1) Private secular firm or sole practitioner (includes members)
    2) Private firm-sole practitioner, unspecified
    7) Publishing houses, religious
    13) Regional office of own denomination
    15) National office of own denomination
    17) Office of own denomination, level unspecified
    19) Other religious firm, organization or sole practitioner
    20) Other
    21) Can't tell
  • SRCE1_98 from National Congregations Study, Panel Dataset (1998 and 2006-2007)
    (source1_98) Who provided these services to you? (FIRST MENTION)
    -3) All other missing data
    -2) Don't know
    1) Private secular firm or sole practitioner (includes members)
    2) Private firm-sole practitioner, unspecified
    7) Publishing houses, religious
    11) Congregations (own denomination)
    13) Regional office of own denomination
    17) Office of own denomination, level unspecified
    18) Office of other denomination, level unspecified
    19) Other religious firm, organization or sole practitioner
    20) Other
    21) Can't tell
  • PARTYAG from International Religious Freedom Data, Aggregate File (2003-2008)
    According to the Report, what is the nature of political parties (in practice)? [Category labels are the following: 0 = All political parties are secular. 1 = Correlation between political party and religion. 2 = Political parties can be religious or secular. 3 = Political parties must be religious. 999 = Unable to assess based on the Report.]
  • GVTYPEAG from International Religious Freedom Data, Aggregate File (2003-2008)
    According to the Report, what is the type of state or official religion?
    0) Secular (or no state religion specified)
    1) Atheistic
    2) Christian
    3) Islamic
    4) Jewish
    5) Buddhist
    6) Nonsecular/theistic
    9) Status changed during coding period, see Note 4 in the ARDA summary page for more information
  • TRDSECVL from Comparative Values Survey of Islamic Countries
    Traditional/Secular rational values [If TRDSECVL = -4 then 'Not asked']
  • WHICHGPS from Houston Area Survey, 1982-2010
    Which of these two groups do you think has been gaining the most influence in recent years [rotate]: Conservative, religious groups such as the Christian Coalition; or: Liberal, secular groups such as feminist and gay activists? (97)D
    -1) RF/DK
    1) Conservative, religious
    2) Liberal, secular groups
[Viewing Matches 1-10] > [View Matches 1-150]  (of 1057 total matches in Data Archive Questions/Variables)
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