Does religion benefit society, even those who aren’t religious? Sociologist Rodney Stark concludes that religion benefits people who are religious and even those who have nothing to do with religion.
Host Tony Gill interviews Stark about his book, America’s Blessings: How Religion Benefits Everyone, Including Atheists. Religion, says Stark, promotes “pro-social behavior,” such as volunteering, employment, and political participation. Religion can also bring about “positive externalities” such as lower crime rates and increased fertility rates.
Corner of Church & State blog is partnering with Research on Religion by bringing you one of its podcasts. Research on Religion is a weekly conversation designed to facilitate a jargon-free discussion of major topics within the social scientific study of religion. They are a unique way to not only learn about religion but also about those who study religion. Each podcast is hosted by Tony Gill, a professor of political science at the University of Washington and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion (the podcast is supported by Baylor’s ISR). This week’s podcast is part of the Research on Religion’s “Redemption Church Series.” In this installment, Pastor Matt Boswell talks about his blog post on “Ten Things Pastors Don’t Want to Reveal.”