This series presents an abstract from a journal article as a proposition for debate. Knowledge of the article itself is not assumed and is not required to participate in the discussion. Any points within the following abstract are open for consideration:
In the United States, religious attendance rises sharply with education across individuals, but religious attendance declines sharply with education across denominations. This puzzle is explained if education both increases the returns to social connection and reduces the extent of religious belief, and if beliefs are closely linked to denominations.
The positive effect of education on social connection is the result of both treatment and selection: schooling creates social skills and people who are good at sitting still. And, people who are innately better at listening have lower costs of both school and social activities, such as church. The negative effect of education on religious belief occurs because secular education emphasizes secular beliefs that are at odds with many traditional religious views.
From: Education and Religion (2001) Edward L. Glaeser and Bruce Sacerdote