New research: Do Americans think religion will fade away by 2050?
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But most Americans don’t foresee his vision taking place, at least not in the next 40 years. Two of three Americans predict that religion will be about as important in the United States in 2050 as it is now, according to the new Pew-Smithsonian survey we’ve relied on this week. Only 30 percent say that religion will become less important in the U.S in the next two score years.
How about you? Do you think that religion will be as important in 2050 as it is now? Strong religious beliefs are one of the ways in which American is exceptional, qualitatively different from almost all other advanced democracies in the world. This won’t change, if the predictions in the poll are correct. Most Americans expect religion to remain as strong as it is now. And, many believe that we’ll see signs of the Apocalypse in the next 40 years—a new global war and even the Second Coming of Christ.
Whether these predictions about the future are “true” may be less important than what they indicate about the here and now. They show that religion remains a strong influence in American society. Granted, many Americans are secular. But religion remains a dominant strain in our culture.
So, what’s your predication about the state of religion in 2050?
Dr. Wayne E. Baker is a sociologist on the senior faculty of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He specializes in researching the core beliefs and desires that motivate and shape American culture. Occasionally, Dr. Baker will share a series of faith-related discussions from his blog, Our Values. He can be reached at email@example.com.