RIPT 2 – Religion in Public Talks – Campbell on how Jan 6 Fueled Secularism; Monson on Religion and Medicaid Expansion


Paul A. Djupe, Denison University, Political Science,

Amanda J. Friesen, Western University, Political Science,

Avital Livny, University of Illinois, Political Science,

Matthew R. Miles, BYU-Idaho, Political Science,

We invite you to join us for a monthly set of talks about religion and public life. Across the pandemic, one of the innovations that should remain is virtual gatherings to accompany academic conferences. Though there are many groups and organizations now convening such gatherings, missing from this space has been one focused on religion in public life for the professoriate (that is, beyond the excellent work being done for those in their early career by Shayla Olson and Hilary Zedlitz). This has always been needed since those who study religion in political science and sociology tend not to work in departments that host more than one religion scholar. 

  • Meetings will be the first Monday before the first Tuesday of every month, except during the summer months. 
  • They will last about an hour.
  • We hope to run them from 5-6pm (eastern) via Zoom.
  • Each session will feature two 15-20 minute talks (with 10-15 minutes of discussion). 
  • We aim for subfield concentrations; that may be comparative vs. American vs. international relations, or may be political behavior vs. institutions vs. social psychology, etc. 
  • Anyone with a PhD (or advanced graduate students) in the social sciences studying religion and public life is welcome to propose a talk  –  contact any or all of our conveners (emails above). 

To receive the Zoom link, you will need to register here. You can register there for one talk or for all talks. If you have registered for all talks, you do not need to register again.

You can always find the list of future and past presenters at the page.

RIPT 2 will be November 1, 2021, 5-6pm (eastern), with Matt Miles (BYU-Idaho) convening. The presenters are:

David CampbellThe Secular Surge Continues:  How January 6 and COVID Have Amplified the Growth of Secularism in America
—David Campbell, University of Notre Dame, Political Science  

Abstract  A growing literature shows that politics increasingly shapes Americans’ lives: what media they consume, where they shop, who they date, etc. Religion—or the lack thereof—is no exception; many Americans have either embraced or shunned religion as a reaction to the Religious Right. What, though, about political events? Do they have any effect on religiosity and secularism? This paper draws on both a panel survey from 2017 to 2021 and a recent survey experiment to examine how Americans’ religious, and secular, attitudes have been affected by both the January 6th insurrection and the COVID-19 pandemic. Spoiler alert: both events have shaped the American religious, and secular, landscape. 

Monson, Quin 2013 photo.jpegCaring for “the Least of These”: Social Gospel Adherence and the Adoption of Medicaid Expansion
—Jay Goodliffe, Department of Political Science, Brigham Young University
Steven Jamieson, Research Policy Assistant, Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau
Nate Jessee, Data Engineer, Tunnl
J. Quin Monson, Department of Political Science, Brigham Young University (Presenter)  

Abstract Although the effects of religion on public opinion and public policy have been studied extensively, religion has been mostly ignored as a factor in policy diffusion. We show that religion has the potential to affect policy outcomes, even in policy areas where the connection may not immediately be obvious, such as Medicaid expansion. Using an original dataset of state Medicaid adoption along with state-level religious adherence rates from the Religious Congregations & Membership Study, we use event history analysis to show that states with more adherents to religious traditions that emphasize the “social gospel” are more likely to adopt Medicaid expansion.  More specifically, we find that Catholic adherence is a strong and statistically significant predictor of state adoption of Medicaid expansion, even after controlling for political and demographic variables.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s