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The World's Religions in Figures: An Introduction to International Religious Demography

ISBN: 978-0-470-67454-3
400 pages
June 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
The World
Created by two of the field’s leading experts, this unique introduction to international religious demography outlines the challenges in interpreting data on religious adherence, and presents a contemporary portrait of global religious belief.
  • Offers the first comprehensive overview of the field of international religious demography – detailing what we know about religious adherents around the world, and how we know it
  • Examines religious freedom and diversity, including agnostics and atheists, on a global scale, highlighting trends over the past 100 years and projecting estimates for the year 2050
  • Outlines the issues and challenges related to definitions, taxonomies, sources, analyses, and other techniques in interpreting data on religious adherence
  • Considers data from religious communities, censuses, surveys, and scholarly research, along with several in-depth case studies on the global Muslim population, religion in China, and the religious demography of recently created Sudan and South Sudan
  • Argues against the belief that the twentieth-century was a ‘secular’ period by putting forward new evidence to the contrary
  • Provides resources for measuring both qualitatively and quantitatively important data on the world's religious situation in the twenty-first century
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List of Figures xiii

List of Tables xiv

Foreword xix

Acknowledgments xxiv

Introduction 1

Part I Overview 7

1 Global Religious Populations, 1910–2010 9

2 Regional Religious Populations, 1910–2010 81

3 Religious Diversity 93

4 Projecting Religious Populations, 2010–50 111

Part II Data and Methods 133

5 Defining Religion and Religious Identity 135

6 Religious Demography as an Emerging Discipline 143

7 Major Sources and Collections of Data 163

8 Analyzing Data on Religion 190

9 Dynamics of Change in Religious Populations 205

Part III Case Studies 227

10 Estimating Changes in the Global Muslim Population 229

11 Factors Driving Change in the Global Muslim Population 258

12 Estimating China’s Religious Populations 286

13 Assessing Religious Populations in the Sudans 313

14 Migration and Religious Diasporas 321

Conclusion 333

Appendix: World Religions by Country 337

Glossary 346

Index 360

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Todd M. Johnson is Associate Professor of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. He is Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs (CURA) at Boston University, where he co-edits the World Religion Database. Professor Johnson is the co-editor of the Atlas of Global Christianity (with Kenneth Ross, 2009) and co-author of World Christianity Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition (with David Barrett and George Kurian, 2001) and World Christian Trends (with David Barrett, et al, 2001).  He is also the editor of the World Christian Database.

Brian J. Grim is Director of cross-national data and Senior Researcher in religion and world affairs at the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life in Washington, D.C. Dr Grim is also Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University, where he co-edits the World Religion Database. He is co-author of The Price of Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the 21st Century (with Roger Finke, 2011).

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Todd Johnson and Brian Grim have produced a synthesis of statistics and commentary that will stand as a landmark in the quantitative study of world religions.”  (Journal of Contemporary Religion, 1 October 2014)

“A very scholarly book with huge amounts of data included in it but with a major contribution to the methodology of taking forward religious demography as a discipline.  The World’s Religions in Figuresis strongly recommended for any library with a focus on religion, sociology or world politics.”  (Reference Reviews, 1 October 2014)

“Todd Johnson and Brian Grim have produced a synthesis of statistics and commentary that will stand as a landmark in the quantitative study of world religions.”  (Journal of Contemporary Religion, 1 August 2014)

“And in my opinion, this book is a must read for everyone interested in the field of international religious demography.”  (Journal for the scientific study of Religion, 10 June 2014)

"This book is a comprehensive introduction to religious demography, both by way of method and by way of data and results.”  (International Journal for Religious Freedom, 1 October 2013)

“It is a technical, critical volume.  For those who are seriously engaged in demographic studies and the manner in which international religious traditions have developed, and are now developing, this book will have value and significance.  It is a remarkable achievement.”  (Association for Mormon Letters, 1 September 2013)

 

“Johnson and Grim's book is the benchmark for research on demography and religion. Their comprehensive discussion of complex issues such as methodology, religious identities, and differing measurements, appeals to scholars in many disciplines working on religion and demographics.  This book is going to be the resource future generations of scholars will build on."—Rachel M. McCleary, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

“I recommend this substantial volume for two reasons: it contains a huge amount of useful information; it is also very readable. As Peter Berger indicates in his Foreword, this is not a book to be read from cover to cover but rather to be kept at hand for reference. True enough. But once launched, I found it hard to stop -- the narrative is compelling.”—Grace Davie, University of Exeter

“Todd Johnson and Brian Grim are the masters of international religious demographers. This book is the result of many years of painstaking research. Here is a body of data and interpretations unmatched anywhere. It is must reading for anyone interested in the shape of religion in the contemporary world.”—Peter L. Berger, Boston University

"Johnson and Grim's book is the benchmark for research on demography and religion. Their comprehensive discussion of complex issues such as methodology, religious identities, and differing measurements, appeals to scholars in many disciplines working on religion and demographics.  This book is going to be the resource future generations of scholars will build on."—Rachel M. McCleary, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

“I recommend this substantial volume for two reasons: it contains a huge amount of useful information; it is also very readable. As Peter Berger indicates in his Foreword, this is not a book to be read from cover to cover but rather to be kept at hand for reference. True enough. But once launched, I found it hard to stop -- the narrative is compelling.”—Grace Davie, University of Exeter

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Appendix: World Religions by Country 408.17 KB Click to Download
Spreadsheet for World Religions by Country 1.22 MB Click to Download
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