Category Archives: Scholarly Articles

My Book Review of Liogier’s "Legitimate’Laicité: France and its State Religions"

The May volume of the American Sociological Association’s journal of book reviews, Contemporary Sociology, published my review of Raphael Lioger’s book ” ‘Legitimate’ Laicite: France and its State Religions” (Paris: Entrelacs, 2006). Liogier heads the World Religion Watch at the French University Sciences Po in Aix-en-Provence, France, which aims to spark dialogue between French and English speaking scholars of religion, such as by translating works from French to English and vice-versa. Click here to read about Liogier’s work, much of which has been published in French. As he writes more in English and presents his work to English-speaking audiences, I hope my book review sparks a wide audience for his work.

A selection of the book review is below. Please click here to see the full review (for subscribers to Contemporary Sociology) or email me for the full review (for non-subscribers).

Raphaël Liogier’s book is a provocative argument about French discourse and practice regarding laïcité, a term generally translated as secularism. Liogier correctly points out that scholars should interrogate how well actual practices reflect the discourse and common understandings of terms such as secularism and laïcité. Liogier makes a powerful and convincing argument that French laïcité is notwhat many inside and outside of France believe it to be, the separation of church and state, but rather an organized and hierarchical system of state intervention in religion.

Article Published on Religion, College Achievement and Satisfaction

In June, my article entitled “Religion, College Grades, and Satisfaction among Students at Elite Colleges and Universities” was published by the journal Sociology of Religion. Advance Access published on June 2, 2010. Sociology of Religion 2010 71: 197-215; doi:10.1093/socrel/srq035

To see the abstract (full public) and full text (individual or institutional subscribers only), click here.

Abstract: Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen, a sample of nearly 3,924 students at 28 of the most selective college and universities in the United States, this paper tests hypotheses about religion, academic performance, and satisfaction at college. Two measures of religiosity—attending religious services every week or more and a 1 to 10 scale of observance of one’s religious traditions and customs—increase the amount of hours students report spending on academic work and extracurricular activities, as well as reduce the hours students report going to parties. Even when controlling for time spent partying, studying and in extracurricular activities, regular attendance at religious services increases academic achievement. Finally, students who attend religious services weekly and those who are more observant of their religious traditions also report being more satisfied at college.