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Are you a Christian if you can't tell the Christmas story?

Sarah Butler

17th February 2023

This week I’ve been thinking about what identifying as a religious individual really means.

Our entire census data is built upon self-identification by individuals as belonging to a religious faith.

However, this becomes more complicated when we compare the notion of self-identification, with ideas of having a knowledge of the religion itself. This provides us with some excellent evaluative content for those tricky essays which ask us to evaluate the measures and definitions of religiosity.

The Lifeway Report from 2021 found that although 91% of Americans celebrate Christmas, that 17% could not tell any of the Christmas story, and a further 31% could only tell the story partially.

Interestingly, Americans with evangelical beliefs are three times more likely to have the ability to accurately tell the full biblical Christmas story from memory.

Of course, Interactionists would be less judgmental about the rules or expectations of being able to class oneself as a bonafide Christian, and would argue that self-identification produces a variety of individual meanings and interpretations of what Beliefs in Society are, and this may not include having a robust knowledge of biblical stories. This leads us to think about other, more spiritual beliefs and whether these are considered religions.

Read the full article here, and you may also like to take note of the methodology information which applies brilliantly to your research methods topic!

Sarah Butler

Sarah is an experienced Head of Social Sciences, EPQ Coordinator and Sociology examiner.

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