Bringing the Text to Life
Next time you’re trying to exit the mall parking lot on a busy shopping day and some driver lets you in line in front of him, give thanks to God because, according to some new research, there’s a good chance that driver is a religious person.
But maybe, if the research is right, it’s that person’s fellow worshipers you should be thanking instead.
The study, conducted by Harvard professor Robert Putnam and Notre Dame scholar David Campbell, will be published this year in their new book American Grace: How Religion Is Reshaping Our Civic and Political Lives. But they already unveiled some of their conclusions at a 2009 conference in Florida.
According to their studies, religious people are three to four times more likely to be involved in their community than are nonreligious people. They’re more apt to work on community projects, belong to voluntary associations, vote in local elections, attend public meetings and donate both time and money to public causes, including secular ones.