Friday, February 24, 2012
Thought v Education
Conventional wisdom has it that there is a growing relationship between a person's level of education and their religion. Most people assume that the more a person is educated, their level of religion goes down because they start forming ideas of their own.Interesting dichotomy is it not? Education v non-education, high-church v low church, inerrancy....
However, a new study indicates that the opposite may be true.
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.
Schwadel, the author of the new study, will publish his findings in the journal Review of Religious Research.
He said studying the effect of education on religion shows the complexity of defining it. For one thing, contrary to a popular misconception, education has a positive association with church attendance.
Schwadel said: "It all falls down to what you consider to be religious."
"If it’s simply attending religious services, then no, highly educated people are not less religious. In fact they’re more religious.'
His study cites that each year a person adds to their education, he or she is 15 percent more likely to attend religious services. The catch in his study determined that when an individual attends a church service, they are less likely to take Scripture literally.
"If it’s saying the Bible is the literal word of God and saying that only one religion is the true religion, then they are less religious,' he said.
One could analyze this to death, but one thought keep creeping through my brain - They are ALL religious! Jesus wants us all - educated and uneducated, literalists and less so, Presbyterian and Pentecostal - we are all Christ's. And each of us serves a function for each of us can reach others more like.
People are amazingly diverse and Christ wants to grant his gifts across that diversity, so He needs a diverse church, some of it seeming more religious than other parts.