ERIC Number: ED330590
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Feb-3
Reference Count: N/A
The Williamsburg Charter Survey on Religion and Public Life.
Williamsburg Charter Foundation, Washington, DC.
Findings from a survey designed to gauge how U.S. citizens view the place of religion in public life are discussed. A total of 1,889 adults were interviewed at random by telephone for the cross-sectional sample. Additional interviews were conducted with more than 300 teenagers and with 7 leadership groups representing business, higher education, government, the media, and the clergy (Protestant, Catholic, Jewish). Results show that contrary to widespread belief and charges in recent public disputes, people are not becoming less tolerant. However, there is a notable ambivalence in the general public between theory and practice on church-state issues and citizens still draw a clear line on their toleration of atheism and alternative lifestyles in political leaders. Seven main areas of findings discussed are: (1) presidential candidates; (2) religious activism in public life; (3) church and state; (4) the limits of tolerance; (5) toward polarization; (6) the next generation; and (7) knowledge of the Constitution. An explanation of the survey methodology, an interpretive summary, an afterword, and five charts also are included. It is concluded that the survey offers grounds for both optimism and concern, and that four themese in particular are worthy of reflection: (1) Commitment and Civility; (2) Transition and Tensions; (3) Perceptions and Portrayals; and (4) Awareness and Affirmations. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Williamsburg Charter Foundation, Washington, DC.