Religion and education

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In the United States, religion is positively correlated to education; a scholarly study published in an academic journal titled the Review of Religious Research demonstrated that increased education is correlated with belief in God and that "education positively affects religious participation, devotional activities, and emphasizing the importance of religion in daily life."[1][2][3][4]

One of the reasons education is positively correlated with belief in God in the United States is that the demographics of people attending higher education has shifted due to more women and southerners attending higher education (these two groups are more likely to be theists. See: Atheism and women).[5]

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Religion and atheism in academia

See also: Christian apologetics and education

In 2001, the atheist and philosopher Quentin Smith declared:

Naturalists [atheists] passively watched as realist versions of theism … began to sweep through the philosophical community, until today perhaps one-quarter or one-third of philosophy professors are theists, with most being orthodox Christians…. God is not 'dead' in academia; he returned to life in the 1960's and is now alive and well in his last academic stronghold, philosophy departments."[6]

In 2004, Professor Alister McGrath, professor of historical theology at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University declared, "The golden age of atheism is over."[7]

Christian apologetics is the defense of the Christian faith through logical and evidence based arguments. Because of the rapid growth of Christianity in the developing world where people often have modest incomes, there is a large pent up demand for theological/Christian apologetic higher education which has spawned various initiatives such as Trinity Graduate School of Apologetics and Theology which offers free/low cost training in these academic disciplines.[8][9]

Due to global desecularization and the historic unpopularity of atheism in much of the world, the global demand for atheistic education in higher education, such as atheistic philosophy, is significantly less strong and faces diminishing prospects in the future (See: Global atheism).

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Notes

  1. Schwadel, Philip (2011). The Effects of Education on Americans’ Religious Practices, Beliefs, and Affiliations. DOI:10.1007/s13644-011-0007-4. “education positively affects religious participation, devotional activities, and emphasizing the importance of religion in daily life; (3) education positively affects switching religious affiliations, particularly to a mainline Protestant denomination, but not disaffiliation; (4) education is positively associated with questioning the role of religion in secular society but not with support for curbing the public opinions of religious leaders; and (5) the effects of education on religious beliefs and participation vary across religious traditions. Education does influence Americans’ religious beliefs and activities, but the effects of education on religion are complex.” 
  2. Jim Kavanagh (11 August 2011). Study: More educated tend to be more religious, by some measures. CNN. ““With more years of education, you aren’t relatively more likely to say, ‘I don’t believe in God,’” he said. “But you are relatively more likely to say, ‘I believe in a higher power.’””
  3. The more education people receive, the more religious they become?. Daily Mail (12 August 2011). “By analyzing data from a large national survey, sociologist Philip Schwadel of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that people tend to become more religious - by certain definitions - as they further their education. The survey also qualified what concept of God or a 'higher power' individuals held, as well as whether they had any doubts. Mr Schwadel said that: 'With more years of education, you aren’t relatively more likely to say, "I don’t believe in God," but you are relatively more likely to say, "I believe in a higher power."'”
  4. More is More When it Comes to Education and Religion, Study Says. Christian Post (13 August 2011). “Sociologist Philip Schwadel from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) studied this phenomenon. He discovered that people today tend to become more religious as they further their education.”
  5. Why Do We Believe That Higher Education Leads to Atheism If It Doesn’t? by Barry Bosmin
  6. Theistic critiques of atheism by William Lane Craig
  7. http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=18837
  8. Global survey documents theological education trends, Anglican Community News Service, September 19, 2013
  9. Why Free Graduate Theology Programs


See also: Does atheism thrive on economic prosperity and religion prosper when people are desperate and ignorant?

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