Pew Forum’s U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey

Apparently, “everyone is blogging about this today.” (I know of a couple sites.) It doesn’t tie directly into the subject matter we normally consider here, but I thought it might be interesting to note.

According to a Pew Forum study released today, Americans on the whole don’t know much about religion. (Atheists, agnostics, Jews, and Muslims seem to know a bit more than others.) Here are some stats — particularly those most germane to the Brethren in Christ as North American evangelicals:

  • Mormons answered more questions correctly about the “Bible and Christianity” than did any other group, including white evangelicals, who finished a close second.
  • Only 11% of Americans know that Jonathan Edwards, as opposed to Charles Finney or Billy Graham, is associated with the First Great Awakening.
  • Less than half (46%) knew that Martin Luther was instrumental in the Protestant Reformation.

And, just for fun . . .

  • 4% of respondents thought Stephen King wrote Moby Dick. (There were some questions not related to religion included in the questionnaire.)

You can read the Pew Forum’s complete report here. (Thanks to Christopher Jones at Religion in American History for these snippets.)

Readers: How do you respond to these statistics? Do you think Brethren in Christ are better informed about religion than most evangelicals? Do you think we know a lot (comparatively) about our own heritage? About our Christian heritage?


About Devin Manzullo-Thomas

Father to Lucas. Husband to Katie. Prof and administrator at Messiah College. PhD student at Temple University. Member of Grantham BIC.
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