chapter  12
26 Pages

Organizing religious landscapes

AMERICANS ARE fond of referring to their land as "God's Country" (Fig. 12.1). And, indeed, looking at the statistical evidence-current incidence of congregational affiliation, attendance at religious services, responses to faith-related questions in surveys, extent of overseas missionary activity, religious philanthropy-all such measures seem to confirm the boast. In fact, these numerical indicators suggest that the United States may well be in the lead among all Judeo-Christian nations in terms of religiosity (with only Ireland and Poland in serious contention).l However, one could contrive an equally convincing case that this republic is the most secularized, or materialistic, of all First World entities, but that is another tale for another day.