Meet Baylor’s nationally recognized expert on politics, faith and culture
It’s been nearly 15 years since the first Baylor Religion Survey was released in 2005. In the years since, the survey has gained recognition as one of the nation’s most influential and comprehensive indicators of the ways Americans live out their faith.
Covering topics like secularism, megachurches, politics, nationalism, attitudes towards prayer, and individual conceptions of God, the survey’s data is used by scholars across the country who seek insight into the many ways faith influences people, groups and nations.
Dr. Paul Froese, a professor of sociology and Baylor Institute for the Studies of Religion (ISR) research fellow, directs the survey. Froese has often served as a spokesperson for the study’s results, being sought out by the likes of USA Today, the Washington Post, ABC World News and Scientific American to explain the Baylor Religion Survey’s findings and what they mean for Americans.
The Baylor Religion Survey, a partnership between Baylor ISR and the Department of Sociology, has flourished as one of the most visible regular studies at Baylor, with a new wave of data being released every 2-4 years. Among the Baylor Religion Survey’s most widely-covered findings was a 2010 examination of the ways people conceive of God and His interactions with the world in which we live. The research uncovered four basic conceptions of God — authoritarian, benevolent, critical, and distant — and found that knowing which way a person sees God can predict his/her political views, behaviors and more.
Working off the survey’s findings, Froese co-authored the book America’s Four Gods: What We Say About God & What That Says About Us in 2015. That’s one of three books Froese has authored since coming to Baylor in 2002; he has also published an impressive portfolio of journal articles that offer additional insights into the ways Americans behave and perceive the things that influence that behavior.
Sic ’em, Dr. Froese!