The Baylor Survey of Religion studied religious experience ( Rodney Stark, What Americans Really Believe. Almost scorned by theologians and professors and routinely ignored by research into religions, The Baylor Study found that 2 of 3 respondents reported having at least one religious experience and 45% said they had two or more such experiences.
Yes, the question is “What constitutes a religious experience?”
Here are the questions the Survey asked with the percent of affirmations after:
1. I heard the voice of God speaking to me: 20%.
2. I felt called by God to do something: 44%.
3. I was protected from harm by a guardian angel: 55%.
4. I witnessed a miraculous, physical healing: 23%.
5. I received a miraculous, physical healing: 16%.
6. I spoke or prayed in tongues: 8%.
Only 34% of Americans answered “No” to all six of these questions. It gets more interesting when you compare denominations:
High means 3-5 questions answered Yes (27%); Medium means 2 (18%); 1 or none (34%) is Low.
I give the Combined percent which measures how frequent such a denomination’s persons have religious experiences:
Liberal mainliners total: 40%
Cons Prots total: 64%
Women 50 vs. Men 38
Race: African American 68% and White 43%
Education: no significant impact. Woohoo!
Age: no significant impact.
Politics: Repubs 55% vs. Dems 38%