A Cultural Cognition Perspective on Religion Singularity:
How Political Identity Influences Religious Affiliation
A Position Paper by
Seybold is professor of psychology at Grove City College where he teaches courses in behavioral neuroscience, cognition, and the psychology of religion. A graduate of Greenville College (B.A.) and Marquette University (M.A.), he received his Ph.D. in physiological psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Seybold has published articles in Physiology & Behavior, the International Journal of Neuroscience, Biological Psychiatry, Current Directions in Psychological Science, the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, and the Journal of Psychology and Christianity among others. He is the author of Explorations in Neuroscience, Psychology and Religion (2007) and Questions in the Psychology of Religion (2017).
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Author: Kevin S. Seybold
Title: "A Cultural Cognition Perspective on Religion Singularity: How Political Identity Influences Religious Affiliation"
Journal: Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry
Journal Issue: Volume 1, Number 1
Date: Spring 2019
Kenneth Howard argues in his paper, “The Religion Singularity,” that institutional Christianity has experienced and will continue to experience an increase in the number of denominations and individual worship centers, which, along with a slower increase in the number of Christians in the US, will make institutional Christianity unsustainable in its current form. While there are, no doubt, many reasons why this religion singularity has or will take place, this paper examines the role of cultural cognition on the trends reported in Howard's article. Cultural commitments and values, such as group membership and identity, influence the position individuals take on a variety of religious and political topics, which can then lead to polarization on these issues within the broader society. While we might expect that religious affiliations play an important role in determining a person’s political views, this article seeks to identify whether the reverse is also true, namely the extent to which political views affect an individual’s religious affiliation. This article reviews research that suggests the increasing political polarization in the United States over the past few decades has contributed, along with other factors, to the religion singularity reported by Howard.
Keywords: deinstitutionalization, religious movement, religious economy, religious evolution, crisis of authority, religion singularity
More From the Author:
(footnote) Kevin S. Seybold, “A Cultural Cognition Perspective on Religion Singularity: How Political Identity Influences Religious Affiliation,” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 21-28, https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no1.03.
(bibliography) Seybold, Kevin S. “A Cultural Cognition Perspective on Religion Singularity: How Political Identity Influences Religious Affiliation.” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 21-28. https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no1.03.
Seybold, Kevin S. “A Cultural Cognition Perspective on Religion Singularity: How Political Identity Influences Religious Affiliation.” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry, vol. 1, no. 1, Spring 2019, doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no1.03, pp. 21-28.
Seybold, K. S. (2019). A Cultural Cognition Perspective on Religion Singularity: How Political Identity Influences Religious Affiliation. Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry, 1(1), 21-28. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no1.03.
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