Posts Tagged ‘social capital’


Markus Schafer on Religion, Doing Good, Networks, & Triadic Closure

Is your trans-congregational triad closed? What does that even mean?! Prof. Markus Schafer (U of Toronto) explains how all of this relates to how we are networked to other people in our congregations and community. He shares the results of several network studies that show religious traditionalists exhibit more prosocial behavior than expected given how they are connected to other individuals beyond merely their own church. He also reveals that evangelical Christians are not only good at making friends, but good at helping their friends make more friends. A fascinating study of the wide web of connectedness that religion helps promote!

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William Reimer on Religion & Violence in Toronto

Sociologists have long noted, and perplexed by, the long-term trend in interpersonal violence in industrializing nations, a pattern that dates back several centuries. William Reimer, author of “Revisiting Toronto the Good,” explains how the spread of religious ideas and themes in the late 19th century helped to mitigate murder rates in this Canadian “city of churches.” We discuss the rise of British Evangelical Protestantism, its influence on proper manliness and prison reform, and how it became infused in the political fabric of the city in the late 1800s.

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Sung Joon Jang on the Boy Scouts of America (Encore Presentation)

In this encore presentation from 2012, Prof. Sung Joon Jang discusses his recent study on Eagle Scouts and the Boy Scouts of America, conducted by the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion with Byron Johnson and Young Il-Kim. The report focused on the effect that Scouting has on developing the behavior and character of young men, particularly those who earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Prof. Jang details a list of pro-social behaviors that are associated with Eagle Scouts well into their adulthood and compares these traits with individuals who were in Scouting but never obtained Eagle and the general population. The results are fascinating and contain a few surprises.

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Theodore Malloch on Spiritual Capital & Virtuous Business

The past few decades have witnessed numerous business and financial scandals that have tarnished the reputation of the free enterprise system. Dr. Theodore Malloch discusses the role that virtue should play in the corporate world and why America’s spiritual capital is essential to a free society. As a champion of business ethics that includes more than just mere compliance with legal regulations, Dr. Malloch urges us to understand how Judeo-Christian values have shaped the American economy, making it an exemplar for other nations around the world. He also discusses the “hard” and “soft” virtues that are essential for corporate executives to promote. And finally, we discuss how secularization may be leading us away from this virtuous path.

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Sung Joon Jang on the Boy Scouts of America

Prof. Sung Joon Jang discusses his recent study on Eagle Scouts and the Boy Scouts of America, conducted by the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion with Byron Johnson and Young Il-Kim. The report focused on the effect that Scouting has on developing the behavior and character of young men, particularly those who earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Prof. Jang details a list of pro-social behaviors that are associated with Eagle Scouts well into their adulthood and compares these traits with individuals who were in Scouting but never obtained Eagle and the general population. The results are fascinating and contain a few surprises. At the end of this podcast, Tony visits with Gene Sjoberg, one of his old buddies from his Scouting days, to discuss his experience being an Eagle. The interview closes with one of the most powerful and inspiring moments in the two year history of this podcast series. Don’t miss it.

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Joseph Daniels on Religion and Trust

Prof. Joseph Daniels of Marquette University discusses why the two different kinds of social trust — “bridging” and “bonding” — are important for society and how religion matters in generating and maintaining this trust. It is noted that religious attendance significantly enhances social trust, although there are some denominational effects that temper this increase. We also discuss how different denominations view free trade and immigration.

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