Science and faith part 3 kiwiconnexion practical theology
- By : Oliver Santos
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Exactly, which is part of your area of brilliant
expertise. Religious affiliation, David; like to guide us through that?
David L: Yes. Again what you see here is that the portions of atheists and agnostics are
under 50 per cent in all three countries. You see very similar in France, and lower
in Germany. So again, this sends the message that under 50 per cent less than majority
of scientists, at least in this survey, are atheist and agnostic. You’ll see agnostic’s
the highest figure in the UK, if you break that figure down, and atheists in France.
Again, this is a cultural thing; if you’re not a Catholic in France, you’re much more
likely to be an atheist, because there’s a polarisation within society.
Then, Germany was higher church attendance, which correlates with the lower atheist and
agnostic figure – so 49 per cent is very high. That’s semi-regular – not every week, but
semi-regular church attendance. Then, if religion and spirituality are important to your life;
the UK has the highest figure, which is just about a third, and France and Germany a quarter.
So, that’s also an interesting finding. Then this Spiritual But Not Religious – SBNR – I
was surprised to see that figure as low as it was. I thought it might be higher than
14 and sort of average of 13 per cent overall. David B: Do you draw any conclusion out of
that? You were expecting perhaps these figures to be reversed. You were expecting more people
to declare themselves Spiritual But Not Religious, but we seem to have the reverse effect going
on; more people are declaring themselves religious, or having some form of religious affiliation
and church attendance… David L: Yeah, so the thing is there are 44
sheets of data here – there’s an enormous amount of detail that one can’t summarise
onto a slide like this. One of the things that comes out is – and this is consistent
with other surveys; the higher prevalence of spirituality and religion among women than
among men, but that’s a general finding. Ollie Robinson who is a psychologist at Greenwich
University; he presented a paper to the annual meeting in Plymouth where he looks specifically
at these gender effects, and compared them with other surveys.
David B: Okay, that’s something we may come back to, because I think it’s an interesting
thing that appears to work across culture – not just specific to one regional difference,
kind of thing.