Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Four Faces Of God

I would really love to have some feedback on how my American readers view this particular piece of research .
The article can be found here.

It found that Americans hold four different images of God — Authoritarian, Benevolent, Critical or Distant — and these views are far more powerful indicators about their political, social and moral attitudes than any of the traditional categories such as Protestant, Catholic or Evangelical.

The study also suggests that America is more religious than previously thought, with only 5.2 per cent of respondents calling themselves atheist and 91.8 per cent saying that they believed in God.

In Britain, by contrast, 20 per cent say that they hold no belief in a higher power and only 38 per cent claim to believe in a traditional God, according to a 2005 survey.

The American survey, conducted by Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion in Texas, broke new ground in asking respondents how they viewed God’s personality.

Researchers found that Americans hold four distinct views, and these “Four Gods” are remarkably accurate diviners of how an American thinks about everything from politics, abortion, taxation and marriage. “You learn more about people’s moral and political behaviour if you know their image of God than almost any other measure,” said Christopher Bader, one of the researchers.

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I would love to know if they interviewed any Orthodox, and if so, what "Face" of God they held............. or would this lead to a whole new category ?
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1 comment:

DebD said...

Yes, I was thinking that my "faces of God" choice wasn't there. Perhaps Benevolent would come close. Isn't Authoritarian and Critical pretty much the same thing?

But, I think the basic premise is pretty telling. I am fortunate to know Christians from a wide variety of traditions. In ticking them off in my head I would say it probably holds true for most of them and what I know of their politics (which isn't always much). Of course, then there would be people like me... enigmas who can't be pegged :)

Good food for thought.