Research Interests: Religion; secularism; ideology; deviance and social control; public views of science; paranormalism; penology and law; social theory
In addition to teaching at ETSU, I work for the Association of Religion Data Archives. For the thrilling minutiae of my credentialing history and varied efforts at ritual impressiveness, see my curriculum vitae.
Reviews of American Secularism:
secular-versus-religious framework, what are the actual cultural
processes behind contemporary American secularism and the growing,
increasingly diverse, nonreligious population? Joseph Baker and
Buster Smith’s exemplary book attempts to draw out an answer to this
question. Amid the growing social science literature on the
nonreligious, it serves as an excellent introduction to American
secularism while adding more careful, multimethod analysis than is
found in other works with more dramatic titles about atheists and
apostates. It should appeal to a broad audience. Students of
religion—and not just those like myself fascinated by its
counterpart—will find merit in this strong piece of scholarship.
-American Journal of Sociology
American Secularism offers
an innovative framework for the study of both nonreligion
and religion that will be
an indispensable resource for both scholars of nonreligion as well
as scholars of culture and religion who want to better understand
this new historical moment and its implications.
The book is well-written, full of interesting data and
histories, and its argument for the necessity of an accurate
understanding of secularisms and secularities in social research is
one that should not be ignored.
-Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
American Secularism is the
best attempt so far to synthesize theory, survey data, and related
scholarly literature into a comprehensive description of what
American secularism looks like now.
Because it also takes on the main challenges of Secular
Studies in the process, I suspect that American Secularism will
define the agenda of empirical Secular Studies for the near future.
The book features a series
of case examples, historical exemplars that allow the authors to
balance the data-heavy portions of the book with historical
Publications: Contact me if you would like full text versions of any articles.
Public Views of Science
Public Perceptions of Incompatibility between "Science and Religion." Public Understanding of Science 21(3):340-354.
Acceptance of Evolution and Support for Teaching
Creationism in Public Schools
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 52(1):216-228.
Homosexuality, Religion, and Science: Moral Authority and the Persistence of Negative Attitudes. Sociological Inquiry 82(4):487-509.
Economy "Versus" Environment: The Influence of Economic Ideology and Political Identity on Perceived Threat of Eco-Catastrophe.The Sociological Quarterly 55(2):341-65.
The Nones: Social Characteristics of the Religiously Unaffiliated. Social Forces 87(3):1251-1264.
None Too Simple: Examining Issues of Religious Nonbelief and Nonbelonging in the United States. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 48(4):719-733.
Perceptions of Science and American Secularism. Sociological Perspectives 55(1):167-188.
Atheism, Agnosticism, and Irreligion. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Gendering (Non)Religion: Politics, Education, and Gender Gaps in Secularity in the United States. Social Forces 94(4):1623-1645.
Patterns of Religious
Practice, Belief, and Experience
An Investigation of the Sociological Patterns of Prayer Frequency and Content.
Sociology of Religion 69(2):165-185.
What Would Jesus Buy? American Consumption of Religious and Spiritual Material Goods. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 46(4):501-518.
Angelic Belief as American Folk Religion.
Sociological Forum 26(3):623-643.
Who Believes in Religious Evil? An Investigation of Sociological Patterns of Belief in Satan, Hell, and Demons. Review of Religious Research 50(2):206-220.
Social Sources of the Spirit: Connecting Rational Choice and Interactive Ritual Theories in the Study of Religion. Sociology of Religion 71(4):432-456.
Structural and Cultural Sources of Community in American Congregations. Social Science Research 45:1-17.
Deviance, Social Control, and Law
Desecration, Moral Boundaries, and the Movement of Law: The Case of Westboro Baptist Church. Deviant Behavior 36(1):42-67.
The Expression of Low Self-Control as Problematic Drinking in Adolescents: An Integrated Control Perspective. Journal of Criminal Justice 38(3):237-244.
Theism, Secularim, and Sex Education in the United States. Sexuality Research and Social Policy 12(3):236-247.
Hell to Pay: Religion and Punitive Ideology among the American Public. Punishment & Society 18(2):151-176.
"Paranormal" Beliefs and Subcultures
A Social Anthropology of Ghosts in Twenty-First-Century America. Social Compass 61(4):569-593.
Diverse Supernatural Portfolios: Certitude, Exclusivity, and the Curvilinear Relationship between Religiosity and Paranormal Belief. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 49(3):413-424. Appendix
Countervailing Forces: Religiosity the Paranormal Belief in Italy.
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 51(4):705-720.