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FW: 5/23/2002 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education

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  • Popplestone, Ann
    ... From: The Chronicle [mailto:daily@chronicle.com] Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2002 5:00 AM To: Chronicle Daily Report Subject: 5/23/2002 Daily Report from The
    Message 1 of 1 , May 23, 2002
      FW: 5/23/2002 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education

      -----Original Message-----
      From: The Chronicle [mailto:daily@...]
      Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2002 5:00 AM
      To: Chronicle Daily Report
      Subject: 5/23/2002 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education

      ACADEME TODAY: The Chronicle of Higher Education's
      Daily Report for subscribers

      Good day!

      Here are news bulletins from The Chronicle of Higher Education
      for Thursday, May 23.

      *  [snip]

         have approved but not yet released a report on allegations of
         mistreatment of the Yanomami people of the Amazon River basin
         -- have agreed on a series of steps to improve the
         relationship between anthropologists and the indigenous
         groups that they study in South America.
         --> SEE http://chronicle.com/daily/2002/05/2002052302n.htm

      *  [snip]
      *  AN AMENDMENT ATTACHED LAST WEEK to a foreign-trade bill that
         is now before the U.S. Senate would provide federal funds for
         community colleges that help retrain laid-off workers.
         --> SEE http://chronicle.com/daily/2002/05/2002052305n.htm

      * [snip]


      A glance at the April issue of "American Sociological Review":
      Losing religion, but not spirituality

      The reason America's churches and religious institutions may
      seem emptier these days is that in the last decade, the
      proportion of Americans who said they have no religious
      preference doubled, from 7 percent to 14 percent, according to
      Michael Hout and Claude S. Fischer, both professors of sociology
      at the University of California at Berkeley. Yet this decline
      does not necessarily reflect an increasing secularization in
      America, the authors write, for evidence indicates that "the new
      religious dissenters have distanced themselves from the
      churches, not from God. ... The majority of adults who prefer no
      religion continue to believe in God and an afterlife." While
      these Americans clearly reject being labeled "religious," they
      still consider themselves "spiritual."

      Mr. Hout and Mr. Fischer suggest that demographic changes may be
      a factor in the rise of the nonreligious. They explain that
      "religion follows a family life cycle; people frequently
      disengage from organized religion when they leave the family
      they grew up in and re-attach themselves about the time they
      start a family of their own." And because more people are
      pursuing advanced degrees, as well as delaying marriage and
      family, the gap of no religion is larger.

      Yet the sudden change in the pool of religious Americans in the
      last decade cannot be accounted for simply by slow-moving
      demographic trends, Mr. Hout and Mr. Fischer say. Rather, the
      decline largely reflects the recent politicization of religion,
      in particular, Christianity, and many Americans' subsequent
      rejection of organized religion. Evidence suggests that "in the
      1990s many people who had weak attachments to religion and
      either moderate or liberal political views found themselves at
      odds with the conservative political agenda of the Christian
      Right and reacted by renouncing" their weak adherence to
      religion. This explanation makes sense of the researchers'
      observations that political conservatives did not change their
      religious preferences and that most people have conventional
      religious beliefs even if they do not prefer a religion.

      The article is not available online, but information about the
      magazine can be found at http://www.pop.psu.edu/ASR/asr.htm

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      Copyright (c) 2002 The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc.

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