Religion influences the demographic processes that shape society, including decisions about union formation, childbearing and migration, as well as behaviors that affect mortality patterns. Likewise, demographic forces are reshaping the global religious landscape. For example, the primary reason Muslims are the fastest growing religious group in the world is that they have more children per woman than any other major religious group. (Islam is projected to become the world’s largest religion during this century).
While demographers have always been aware that religion is important, the study of religion by demographers is incommensurate with religion’s influence on populations. On March 30, 2016, Pew Research Center will host a special one-day conference for scholars interested in the intersection of demography and religion. This conference will allow scholars to assess the state of this field, hear about new research and plot the field’s future research agenda.
The conference will feature 10-minute presentations of current research, potential research and/or reflections about our field. This format is inspired by the longstanding Psychosocial Workshop, a PAA pre-conference that features signature five-minute presentations. With limited time, presenters are encouraged to get straight to the most interesting kernel of their work. This efficient format permits more presentations than would otherwise be possible and creates opportunity for follow-up conversations during breaks.
There will be opportunity for informal discussion and networking during our lunch break and afternoon cocktail hour. During the conference, there will be an opportunity to learn about how the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project is using demographic analysis to describe global religion trends.
The highlight of the conference will be an afternoon discussion with leading scholars Christopher Ellison, David Voas and Jenny Trinitapoli about the most important unanswered research questions demographers of religion can answer.
This inaugural demography of religion gathering will be held at Pew Research Center headquarters, located at 1615 L Street NW, just a few blocks from the White House and a short Metro ride from the Marriott Wardman Park, which is the PAA conference hotel (the red line connects these locations via the Woodley Park Zoo and Farragut North Metro stations).
10:00 Opening session: Pew Research Center’s Global Demography Research, Conrad Hackett
10:30 Research presentations session
1:15 Research presentations session
3:00 Panel discussion: “What are the most important unanswered questions demographers of religion can answer?”
Panelists: Christopher Ellison, David Voas, Jenny Trinitapoli
Moderator: Alan Cooperman
4:30 Cocktail hour
All participants must register by March 1. Thanks to the generous support of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project, there is no cost to attend this event.
About the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project:
The Global Religious Futures project — supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation — analyzes religious change and its impact on societies around the world through original survey data collection measuring religious beliefs and practices; coding and analysis of religious restrictions and analysis of the demographic characteristics of religious groups.
The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050
The Future Size of Religiously Affiliated and Unaffiliated Populations
Interactive data site: www.globalreligiousfutures.org
Religion in Latin America