Joseph O. Baker


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.            

American Secularism now available from NYU Press






Listen to a discussion of American Secularism on the radio program Religion for Life.


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.


American Secularism(s)
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 StatesJournal 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 IrreligionEmerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.


Gendering (Non)Religion: Politics, Education, and Gender Gaps in Secularity in the United States.  Social Forces.



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 GoodsJournal 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 DemonsReview of Religious Research 50(2):206-220. 

The Variety of Religious Experiences. Review of Religious Research 51(1):39-54.  Erratum


Congregational Dynamics
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 PerspectiveJournal 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 PublicPunishment & Society 18(2):151-176.


"Paranormal" Beliefs and Subcultures
A Social Anthropology of Ghosts in Twenty-First-Century AmericaSocial Compass 61(4):569-593.

Diverse Supernatural Portfolios: Certitude, Exclusivity, and the Curvilinear Relationship between Religiosity and Paranormal BeliefJournal 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.