Is American religion exceptional?

America is more religious than Europe, almost everyone agrees.

Two-thirds of U.S. Christians pray daily, compared with a median of 18 percent of Christians across 15 countries in Europe, to cite just one recent survey.

But there is disagreement over whether the religious devotion that has long characterized a segment of the United States is impervious to anti-religious trends in Europe, where the markers of faith have plunged over the past few decades.

In the journal Sociological Science, two groups of scholars sized up decades' worth of survey data from the General Social Survey dating to 1973 — and arrived at different conclusions.

At the heart of the throwdown dividing sociology of religion circles is the question: Is American religion exceptional?


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