Is religious service attendance declining?

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Weekend attendance at conventional religious services remains the most common form of social religious action in American society. Debates about secularization, discussions of congregations as sites of political skill-building and mobilization, and research on religion's contributions to stocks of social capital often rely partly on claims about trends in religious service attendance. Yet, existing evidence does not definitively establish whether attendance at religious services declined in American society from the 1950s to the present. We examine the trend in religious service attendance between 1990 and 2006. Evidence from several sources converges on the same answer: weekly attendance at religious services has been stable since 1990. However one reads the evidence about trends between World War II and 1990, the recent past has been a time of stability. This has important implications for theories of religious change. © 2007 The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Presser, S; Chaves, M

Published Date

  • September 1, 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 46 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 417 - 423

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1468-5906

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-8294

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2007.00367.x

Citation Source

  • Scopus