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Consistent with this view, substantial evidence confirms that low SES individuals are more likely to seek God's will through prayer (Albrecht and Heaton 1984), and tend to report higher levels of divine interaction (Pollner 1989), feeling connected with God (Krause 2002), religious meaning and coping (Krause 2003, 1995), God-mediated control (Krause 2005, 2007), and the sense of divine control (Schieman et al. Moreover, low SES groups tend to derive greater psychological benefits from religiosity (Ellison 1991; Krause 1995; Pollner 1989).
In an effort to extend this tradition, I examine the association between SES and beliefs about God independently and in with other aspects of religious involvement, including the frequency of attending religious services, praying, reading religious texts, and subjective religious identification.
Using data from two 2005 national surveys of American adults, I address three questions: (1) Is SES associated with beliefs about divine involvement and divine control?
Using data from two national 2005 surveys of Americans, I observe the following: (1) overall, SES is associated negatively with beliefs in divine involvement and control; (2) with the exception of reading religious texts, each indicator of religious involvement is associated with higher levels of beliefs in divine involvement or divine control; (3) SES interacts with each dimension of religious involvement such that the negative association between SES and divine involvement or control is attenuated at higher levels of religious involvement.
I discuss the contributions of this research for theoretical perspectives on the relationship between SES and beliefs about God's influence in everyday life, underscoring the need to assess religious involvement in these processes.
Prior research has drawn attention to education's role in understanding variations in the nature and functions of religious precepts and practices.
Pollner (1989), for example, hypothesized that education modifies the psychological effects of religiosity because of its association with cognitive abilities and an enhanced capacity to comprehend “complex symbolic codes.” Pollner's thesis implies that people with less education “may profit especially from the sense of order and meaning generated in and through divine interaction” (p. Likewise, theoretical views about deprivation–compensation are potentially relevant (Wilson 1982).
Despite the increasing popularity of these recent polemics about religion, there is strong evidence that the vast majority of Americans maintain the belief in a personal God (Froese and Bader 2007), and these beliefs remain influential in many aspects of American social and political life (Wills 2007).
Less is known, however, about the of those beliefs.
Across historical times, societies, and cultures, individuals have maintained a heterogeneous assortment of mental representations of God, often assigning to Him human attributes that imply something about His involvement in human affairs (i.e., “master,” “father,” and “friend”; Armstrong 1993; Miles 1995; Sharot 2001; Stark 2001, 2007). The concept of a with God identifies the ways that many people maintain a bond with the divine that parallels social relations with other people (Glock and Stark 1965; Pollner 1989).
Orthodox Christian theology socializes the belief that God desires to maintain a special connection with each individual and commonly intercedes in their lives (Ellison et al. These beliefs often include the conviction that God is a conscious, omnipotent being who has explicit expectations and desires for each human being (Black 1999; Stark and Finke 2000). According to Stark and Glock (1968: 25), “the most universal and basic element in Christian theologies is an elaborate set of assertions about the nature and will of an all-powerful and sentient God.” Similarly, Roberts and Davidson (1984) contend that the “theistic or traditional meaning system is the acceptance of God as the primary force governing and explaining life” (p. In this respect, God is the “uncaused first cause” of the universe (Sagan 2006).