More Religion, Less Crime? Science, Felonies, and the Three Faith Factors
Posted: 4 Jun 2010
Date Written: December 2009
In recent decades, as politicians and journalists have paid greater attention to religion, social scientists have too. Much attention has focused on religion in relation to various indices of social and civic well-being. There are now four different schools of thought, two academic and two popular, regarding the relationship between religion and crime. While much worthwhile scientific research has been done, religion remains a neglected variable in criminology and in criminal justice studies. The popular view that religion reduces crime is neither without empirical foundation nor without need for far more refined and intensive testing. This article offers a simple algorithm for future social science research on crime and religion in relation to three different faith factors, three different species of religious nonprofit organizations, three different categories of crime, and three different types of empirical research.
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