The Religious Typology

A new Pew Research Center analysis looks at beliefs and behaviors that cut across many denominations — important traits that unite people of different faiths, or that divide people who have the same religious affiliation — producing a new and revealing classification, or typology, of religion in America. The new typology sorts Americans into seven groups based on the religious and spiritual beliefs they share, how actively they practice their faith, the value they place on their religion, and the other sources of meaning and fulfillment in their lives. Race, ethnicity, age, education, and political opinions were not among the characteristics used to create the groups. Yet some of the groups have strong partisan leanings or distinctive demographic profiles, illuminating the intrinsic connections between religion, race, and politics in America.

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