Paul Froese on America’s Four Gods
Date: December 27th, 2010

Prof. Paul Froese — associate professor of sociology at Baylor University and research fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion — discusses his critically-acclaimed book America’s Four Gods (co-authored with Chris Bader).  Unlike many surveys of religion that simply ask if a person believes in God, these authors examine how different people conceptualize God and find four relatively distinct images that Americans have of God based upon two important dimensions — the level of engagment that people think God has with this world, and the extent they think God is judgmental of humanity.  We cover the four principal images of God, including: Authoritative God (engaged and judgmental); Benevolent God (engaged, but less judgmental); Critical God (not engaged, but judgmental); and Distant God (not engaged and not judgmental).  Paul details the socio-demographic and denominational characteristics associated with each of the four conceptualizations of God and discusses how different regions of the United States tend to favor different visions of God.  We further talk about how these foundational images affect our beliefs in different areas of life including cultural issues such as abortion and adultery, the relationship between science and faith, support for social welfare policies, and how people view natural disasters and war.  Your host took the authors’ online survey and reveals what those questions said about his image of God.  Recorded: December 15, 2010.


Prof. Paul Froese’s website at Baylor University.

The America’s Four Gods website (including the God test and Images of God).

America’s Four Gods: What We Say about God & What that Says about Us by Paul Froese and Chris Bader.

The Plot to Kill God: Findings from the Soviet Experiment in Secularization by Paul Froese.


James Wellman on Evangelical versus Liberal Christians.

Jay Hein on the Faith-Based and Community Iniative.

Chris Bader on Ghosts, UFOs, and the Paranormal.

One Response to “Paul Froese on America’s Four Gods”

  1. […] Paul Froese on America’s Four Gods. […]

Listen or Download This Episode
Search The Podcast
To search the podcast, type a term and click the Search button.

Connect With Us