What You Don't Know about Religion (but Should)

by Ryan T. Cragun


What is a religion? Why are people religious? Are religious people more educated than nonreligious people? Are religious people more moral, more humble, or happier? Are religious people more or less prejudiced than nonreligious people? Is religion good for your health? Are people becoming more or less religious? Studying religion as a social phenomenon, Ryan T. Cragun follows the scientific data to provide answers to these and other questions. At times irreverent, but always engaging and illuminating, What You Don't Know About Religion (but Should) is for all those who have ever wondered whether religion helps or hurts society—or questioned what the future holds for religion.

"An extremely lively, engaging, and enjoyable book. Cragun masterfully weaves together personal anecdotes, international current events, sociological data, relevant social issues, and theoretical insights in presenting a sober, clear, and at times quite passionate introduction to how social scientists understand and approach religion.  This highly readable, conversational, and yet soundly argued book is strongly, enthusiastically recommended."
-Phil Zuckerman, Professor of Sociology at Pitzer College and author of Faith No More and Society Without God

"Ryan Cragun has given us a witty, concise, trenchant yet many-faceted summary of the phenomena of religion in contemporary society.  It might have been titled Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Religion, but Didn't Know Who to Ask.  As this book makes clear, Ryan Cragun is who to ask."
-Tom Flynn, Editor, Free Inquiry

"A long-overdue counterweight to books designed around religious boosterism, What You Don't Know about Religion (but should) is an empirically based examination of religion that extensively catalogues what has been previously overlooked.  Plainly stated, personal, and conversational in tone, without jargon or overly complex language, this book mixes poignant anecdotes with social science findings across many domains, including ethics, education, social behavior, family life, gender and racial attitudes and more."
-Luke Galen, Associate Professor of Psychology and coauthor of Being Secular
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