In poor communities like the one where I live and work, evictions are not the exception. They’re the norm.
Sociologists are reputed to be masters of suspicion, and many keep their distance from religious belief and practice. Robert Bellah’s field was the sociology of religion, and the longtime University of California, Berkeley professor—who died last week—certainly knew the value of “distance” in this and all human sciences. But as he studied people of faith and their practice—whether in “Tokugawa Religion” in Japan (his doctoral dissertation subject) or in America—he discerned integrity and value in the faith(s) of many.
According to Robert Wuthnow, well-educated Americans have reconfigured their religious language in terms of reasonableness—and thus retained a place for the supernatural in everyday life.
Christian Smith offers a way between the idea that young adults are the great hope of our nation and the idea that they are crazed idiots.