Study: “The Bible in American Life”

UntitledThe year 2011 marked the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. It also marked the beginning of a three-year Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI ) study of the Bible’s place in the everyday lives of Americans.

With a $507,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture – a program of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI – set out to answer questions of how, where, when and why ordinary Americans use the Bible.

According to findings made public online in the 44-page “The Bible in American Life” report, the four-centuries-old King James Version of the Bible is far from dead. Despite its archaic language and a market flooded with newer, more modern English translations, more than half of the individuals and two-fifths of the congregations surveyed still prefer the King James Bible.

And of those surveyed, African Americans reported the highest levels of Bible engagement.

Seventy percent of all blacks said they read the Bible outside of public worship services, compared to 44 percent for whites, 46 percent for Hispanics and 28 percent for all other races.

Bible memorization is highest among black respondents, 69 percent, compared to 51 percent among white conservative Protestants and 31 percent among white moderate/liberal Protestants.

“There are no measures, individually or in congregations, where ‘black’ is not strongly correlated with the most conservative, most active, most involved level of scriptural engagement, no matter which other group comes closest,” the report says.

“If one wanted to predict whether someone had read the Bible, believed it to be the literal or inspired Word of God, and used it to learn about many practical aspects of life, knowing whether or not that person was black is the single best piece of information one could have.”

The report first looks at the practice of scripture reading in the United States, and then explores eight measures among those who read the Bible, such as Bible translation used; scripture memorization habits; favorite passages; and race.

Roughly half of Americans have read religious scripture outside of a public worship service in the past year. For 95 percent of those, the Bible is the scripture they read.

What did the study reveal about Bible readers?

Most of those people read at least monthly, and a substantial number – 9 percent of all Americans – read every day.

Women were more likely to read than men; older people were more likely to read than younger; Southerners were more likely to read than those of any other region.

The percentage of verse memorizers among Bible readers (48 percent) equates to roughly a fourth of the American population as a whole, or nearly 80 million people.

Psalm 23 – which begins “The Lord is my shepherd” – was the most popular Biblical passage.

Younger people, those with higher salaries and, most dramatically, those with more education among the respondents read the Bible on the internet or an e-device at higher rates.

The written report, based on survey questions on both the General Social Survey (1,551 individuals) and the National Congregations Study III (denominations represented among the General Social Survey respondents), is the first stage of the study and offers sociological data about the role of the Bible.

“Historians and sociologists have been working for years to understand how religion is lived out on a daily level,” said Philip Goff, executive director of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture and one of the three principal investigators who led the study. “This gives us a good snapshot of the practice of Bible reading. That should also help ministers understand the people in their pews.”

Goff’s co-investigators are Arthur Farnsley, associate director of the center; and Peter Thuesen, chair of the Department of Religious Studies at IUPUI.

full article found here

NEH summer stipends – limited submission

IU Internal Deadline: 6/16/2014

NEH Proposal Deadline: 9/30/2014

Limited Submission website.

Brief Description:

From NEH website: Updated guidelines will be posted at least two months in advance of the deadline listed. In the meantime, please use the guidelines for the previous deadline, to get a sense of what is involved in assembling an application.

Summer Stipends support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources. Summer Stipends support continuous full-time work on a humanities project for a period of two months. Summer Stipends support projects at any stage of development.

The Summer Stipends program welcomes projects that respond to NEH’s Bridging Cultures initiative. Such projects could focus on cultures internationally or within the United States. International projects might seek to enlarge Americans’ understanding of other places and times, as well as other perspectives and intellectual traditions. American projects might explore the great variety of cultural influences on, and myriad subcultures within, American society. These projects might also investigate how Americans have approached and attempted to surmount seemingly unbridgeable cultural divides, or examine the ideals of civility and civic discourse that have informed this quest. In connection with a focus on civic discourse, projects might explore the role of women in America’s civic life as well as the civic role of women in other cultures and regions of the world.

Award Amount:

Summer Stipends provide $6,000 for two consecutive months of full-time research and writing. Recipients must work full-time on their projects for these two months and may hold other research grants supporting the same project during this time. Summer Stipends normally support work carried out during the summer months, but arrangements can be made for other times of the year. NEH Summer Stipends do not require cost sharing and do not include indirect costs.

Eligibility:

· Only individual applicants are eligible to apply for Summer Stipends.

· All applicants must have completed their formal education by the application deadline. While applicants need not have advanced degrees, individuals currently enrolled in a degree-granting program are ineligible to apply.

· Individuals who have held or been awarded a major fellowship or research grant or its equivalent within the three academic years prior to the deadline are ineligible. See Program details.

· Individuals who have received Summer Stipends may apply to support a new stage of their projects.

· See Program details for more specific information.

Limitation:

INTERNAL COMPETITION NECESSARY: TWO FACULTY MEMBERS PER CAMPUS

Only two faculty members teaching full-time at colleges and universities may be nominated by their institutions (campus) to apply for a Summer Stipend.

APPLICANTS EXEMPT FROM NOMINATION / NO INTERNAL COMPETITION NEEDED

The following individuals may apply online without a nomination or internal competition:

· independent scholars not affiliated with a college or university;

· college or university staff members who are not faculty members and will not be teaching during the academic year preceding the award tenure

· emeritus faculty; and

· adjunct faculty, part-time faculty, and applicants with academic appointments that terminate by the summer of the award tenure.

To apply for IU Internal competition:

IUPUI: For consideration, submit the following documents electronically to Etta Ward, emward@iupui.edu, by June 16, 2014 for internal competition.

1. Provide a 1-2 page summary that includes the following: (limitation does not include references)

· Project Title

· Project Director Name and Credentials

· Research and contribution: Describe the intellectual significance of the proposed project, including its value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Provide an overview of the project, explaining the basic ideas, problems, or questions examined by the study. Explain how the project will complement, challenge, or expand relevant studies in the field.

· Methods and work plan: Describe your method(s) and clarify the part or stage of the project that will be supported by the Summer Stipend. Provide a work plan, describing what you will accomplish during the award period. Your work plan must be based on a full-time commitment to the project; part-time work is not allowed. If you do not anticipate finishing the entire project during the award period, discuss your plan for doing so. For book projects, explain how the final project will be organized. If possible, provide a brief chapter outline. For digital projects, describe the technologies that will be used and developed, and how the scholarship will be presented to benefit audiences in the humanities.

· Final product and dissemination: Describe the intended audience and the intended results of the project. If relevant, explain how the results will be disseminated and why these means are appropriate to the subject matter and audience.

2. A Letter from the Chair or Dean

3. 1-2 page abbreviated CV which includes:

· Current and Past Positions

· Education: List degrees, dates awarded, and titles of theses or dissertations

· Awards and Honors: Include dates. If you have received support from NEH, indicate the dates of these grants and any resulting publications.

· Publications: Include full citations for publications and presentations

· Other Relevant Professional Activities & Accomplishments