Dr. Paul Froese is a professor of sociology and a research fellow for the Institute for Studies of Religion. He has been teaching and researching at Baylor since 2002. A prolific author of books and articles, his research interests include the sociology of meaning, religion, comparative historical sociology, political sociology and ideology.
Industry Expertise (1)
Areas of Expertise (10)
University of Washington: Ph.D., Sociology 2003
University of Washington: M.A., Sociology 1999
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee: M.A., Philosophy 1992
Grinnell College: B.A., Russian 1990
Psychologists have devoted considerable theoretical and empirical attention to the scientific study of social attitudes and prejudice. Most of these studies were conducted with relatively small, nonrepresentative samples of college students. In this study, the authors analyzed self-report data from a random probability sample with over 1500 American adults. Participants answered questions about their religiousness, right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), political ideology, demographic characteristics, and attitudes toward persons in historically disadvantaged social groups (i.e., ethnic minorities and homosexual individuals)...
Not only do few studies address the issue of how religious belief relates to political ideology, but little attempt has also been made to analyze this relationship from a comparative perspective. Using data from the International Social Survey Program, we examine how images of God, as measured by God's perceived level of engagement and authority, relate to political ideology in seven Western industrial and postindustrial societies. We find that variation in images of God has no effect on whether individuals are politically liberal or conservative in five of seven countries. Nonetheless, beliefs about God are strongly related to abortion and sexual morality attitudes in every country, but only sporadically related to ideas about social and economic justice. In the end, we argue that theological beliefs tend to be unrelated to a general measure of political ideology, not because religious beliefs are politically unimportant in these societies, but rather because religious perspectives are rarely fully liberal or conservative in their political orientation. In addition, we find that Americans hold unique views of God in comparison to other countries in our sample and that the American tendency to view God as more active and authoritative affects policy attitudes in ways contrary to the effects of church attendance.
The Baylor Religion Survey (BRS) is a national population survey of religious characteristics, orientations, and attitudes modeled after the General Social Survey. This article provides an overview of the content of the 2005 BRS along with a detailed description of our methods of data collection and some descriptive characteristics from our sample of 1,721 adults in the United States. A third of the survey is dedicated solely to religion items focusing on affiliation, identity, belief, experience, and commitment...
As citizens of the most technologically advanced and economically developed country in the world, nearly all Americans stalwartly maintain their faith in God, much more so than residents of other postindustrial countries (Norris and Ingelhart 2004). But what is the content and meaning of this belief? Perhaps belief in God has become so pervasive in contemporary American culture that it reflects little about believers' deeper religious thoughts, identities, and actions. We find the opposite to be true. Outside the confines of seminaries, competing beliefs about who God is and what God wants have a clear and important connection to everyday religious life in the United States...
Is the new paradigm in the sociology of religion, known commonly as the "supply-side" or "rational choice" perspective, leading towards a plausible general theory? At this point, the answer remains dependent upon how one interprets current deviations from the paradigm's predictions. This article investigates two cases in postcommunist Europe, Poland and East Germany, which appear to contradict a simple core hypothesis of the new paradigm. We argue that these anomalous cases are opportunities to examine and potentially extend the explanatory range of the new paradigm. Ultimately, we conclude that these cases can be shown through closer analysis to fit with the underlying logic of the new paradigm and thereby argue for the theory's continued evaluation and augmentation.