Tracking emergent religious groups in the US and adherence over time.


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Emergent religious groups are an innovative but chronically understudied and misunderstood realm of contemporary religion. This may be due to notorious difficulties encountered when estimating the size of populations involved with emergent religious groups at any given time. To address this problem, two hypotheses were proposed based on the expectations of religious economies theory: 1. the population involved with any ERG remained within an .2-2.2% range of the total American population, and 2. this percentage does not change over time. Findings from three national surveys suggest support for .2-2.2% of the U.S. population involved with ERGs regardless of year, and tentative support for the religious economies explanation. ERGs are a viable case for quantitative sociologists of religion, which has hitherto been dominated by qualitative case study, although creativity and further research is needed to verify the findings.



Emergent religious groups. Emerging religious groups. New age. New religious movement. Cult. Adherence. Membership. Religious economies. Quantitative. United States. Longitudinal.