Measuring belief?

Pop quiz: What do standing in a long line outside a temple on New Year’s Eve, kneeling alone in a giant cathedral, and gathering around with 10-15 friends in an apartment room all have in common?
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Pop quiz: What do standing in a long line outside a temple on New Year’s Eve, kneeling alone in a giant cathedral, and gathering around with 10-15 friends in an apartment room all have in common? It’s kind of an unfair question but the answer is that each of these would qualify equally as a statistical instance of “having prayed” despite the glaringly different social context and relational ramifications of the action itself. My little gimmick highlights an important question about religious research: do our standard operationalizations actually capture what we want them to? Are instances of the “same” religious practices commensurate across traditions and cultures? Global, comparative statistical studies remain important research goals, and for good reason. Religion remains a significant element of modern life, and may be growing in importance given its common role as a source of push-back against the forces of globalization or as a globalizing force. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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