Monday Graph: Aheists, Jews and Mormons most knowledgeable about religions

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Jay Livingston at Sociological Images writes about a Pew quiz on religious knowledge.

Turns out, it is the Atheists and Agnostics who scored best on the quiz, followed closely by Jews and Mormons; whereas Catholics and Protestants seem to fall behind.

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As for the explanation, Livingston has got a quite provocative-one:

“One reason for their higher scores might be education – college graduates outscore high school or less by nearly 8 points out of 32. It may be that nonbelievers, Jews, and Mormons are more likely to have finished college. […]

But another reason that these groups scored higher may be their position as religious minorities. Jews and Mormons have to explain to the flock how their ideas are different from those of the majority. Atheists and agnostics too, in their questioning and even rejecting,  have probably devoted more thought to religion, or more accurately, religions. On the questions about Shiva and Nirvana, they leave even the Jews and Mormons far behind.

For Protestants and Catholics, by contrast, learning detailed information about their religion is not as crucial. Just as White people in the US rarely ask what it means to be White, Christians need not worry about their differences from the mainstream. They are the mainstream.”

Read Jay Livingston’s full article here.

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