Academic Research

America’s university students are tomorrow’s leaders  and the harbingers of social change.  Utilizing large-scale, on-line national surveys, hence  ISSSC has focused its recent research on the worldviews and opinions of students.  The ARIS 2013 National College Student Survey​ covered students of all religious and ethnic backgrounds while the Demographic  Survey of American Jewish  College Students 2014​  focused on self-defined members of  this minority population.

Even as religion appears to be a growing force in world affairs, the size of the non-religious population is increasing in many countries. Between 1990 and 2008, the number of adults in the U.S. who professed no religion increased from 14 million to 34 million according to the American Religious Identification Survey 2008 (ARIS). “No Religion: A Profile of America’s Unchurched” found that one-third of those professing no religion in 2001 were under 30 years old. For the full ARIS report, see Religion in a Free Market (Paramount Market Publishing Inc., 2006).

Young adult Americans have been identified as the population most responsible for recent changes in the nation’s religious identification and patterns of religiosity. In order to better understand this trend the ARIS 2013 College Student Survey focuses on the student component of the millennial generation.

With a global research agenda, the Institute studies secularism and secularization by gathering and analyzing data on secular populations in the U.S. and abroad; see Secularism & Secularity: Contemporary International Perspectives (2007), Secularism & Science in the 21st Century (2008), and Secularism, Women &The State: The Mediterranean World in the 21st Century (2009). 

ISSSC also explores the worldviews and opinions of scientific professionals. The first phase of the international research project gathered information on beliefs and values from a large sample of Indian scientists. Worldviews and Opinions of Scientists in India was conducted in collaboration with the Center for Inquiry-India in Hyderabad. 

Recent Academic Research :

Phillips, Rick, Ryan T. Cragun and Barry A. Kosmin. 2015. “Increasing Sex Ratio Imbalance Among Utah Mormons: Sources and Implications​,” Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion 11 (article 12): 1-27.

The International Demography of Atheists, Ariela Keysar, in Yearbook of International Religious Demography, Brian J. Grim, Todd M. Johnson, Vegard Skirbekk and Gina A. Zurlo, Eds. UK: Brill, July 2015: 136-153.

Freedom of choice: Women and demography in Israel, France and the United States, in Secularism on the Edge: Rethinking Church-State Relations in the United States, France and Israel, Jacques Berlinerblau, Sarah Fainberg and Aurora Nou, Eds. UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 199-218, 2014.

Ariela Keysar, “From Jerusalem to New York: Researching Jewish Erosion and Resilience.” Contemporary Jewry, 34(2), 147-162, 2014.

Ariela Keysar,“Filling a data gap: the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) series.” Religion, 44(3), 383-395, 2014.

Ariela Keysar, “Shifts Along the American Religious-Secular Spectrum,” Secularism and Nonreligion 3 1-16, 2014.

Barry A. Kosmin, Response to Catholic-Atheist Dialogue: The Unfinished Business of Vatican II​, Dialogue AND UniversalsmE, V (2014), No. 1-2,10-19.

Barry A. Kosmin, “Secular Republic or Christian Nation?  The Battlefields of the American Culture War,” in Christopher Hartney, ed. Secularisation: New Historical PerspectivesCambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, U.K., 2014, pp.151-172.

Barry A. Kosmin, “The Vitality of Soft Secularism in the United States and the Challenge Posed by the Growth of the Nones,”  in Jacques Berlinerblau, Sarah Fainberg and Aurora Nou eds., On the Edge: Church-State Relations in the United States, France and Israel, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014, pp.35-50. 

Barry A. Kosmin, American Secular Identity, Twenty-First Century Style: Secular College Students in 2013,” Free Inquiry, (2014), Vol. 34, No. 3, 1-11 

Barry A. Kosmin, “The Secular Are Skeptics: The Worldviews of Today’s University Students​,” Skeptical Inquirer, Vol.38, (2014), No. 4, 38-41.

Ariela Keysar. “Shifts Along the American Religious-Secular Spectrum.” Secularism and Nonreligion 3 (2014): 1-16.

Ariela Keysar. Freedom of choice: Women and demography in Isreal, France, and the United States, in Secularism on the Edge: Rethinking Church-State Relations in the United States, France and Isreal, Jacques Berlinerblau, Sarah Fainberg and Aurora Nou, Eds. UK: Palmgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Ariela Keysar. “Filling a data gap: the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) series.” Religion, 2014, 44(3)..
Barry A. Kosmin, “The Unexpected Rise of Secularity in the United States 1990-2008,” Ethique, Politique, Religions, Garnier, Paris, 2013, 1, No.2,  143-162

Ariela Keysar and Juhem Navarro-Rivera. “A World of Atheism: Global Demographics.” in Stephen Bullivant & Michael Ruse, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Atheism, Oxford University Press, 2013,pp. 553-586. ​​

Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar, “American Jewish Secularism: Jewish Life: Beyond the Synagogue,” In A. Dashefsky and I.Sheskin (eds.), American Jewish Year Book 2012, Springer Science+Business Media, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 2013 , pp. 3-53.

Ryan Cragun & Barry A. Kosmin, “Cheating or Leveling the Playing Field? Rethinking How We Ask Questions about Religion in the U.S,” Free Inquiry, Vol. 33, No. 4, 25-30 (2013).

Frank L. Pasquale & Barry A. Kosmin, “Atheism and the Secularization Thesis,” in Stephen Bullivant & Michael Ruse, eds.,  The Oxford Handbook of Atheism, Oxford University Press, 2013,  pp.451-467 

Ariela Keysar, Barry A. Kosmin & Umesh Gidwani, “Traditionalism, professional identity and the attitudes of academics and physicians in India toward alternative medicine,” Asian Journal of Science and Technology, 2013, Vol. 4, No. 4, 22-26

Ryan T. Cragun, Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar Joseph H. Hammer & Michael Nielsen, On the Receiving End: Discrimination toward the Non-Religious in the United States,” Journal of Contemporary ReligionVol. 27, No. 1 January 2012, Special Issue: Non-religion and Secularity.

Ariela Keysar. Atheism, in Encyclopedia of Global Religion, Mark Juergensmeyer and Wade Clark Roof. Eds. New York: Sage, 2011. 

Ariela Keysar. "Secular Americans and secular Jewish Americans: similarities and differences, " Contemporary Jewry, Vol. 30 no. 1, 2010.

Ariela Keysar. "Untruly Trinity? Secularism Institute Renews Liberal Arts Curriculum, " New England Journal of Higher Education, August 2010.

American Jewish Secularism: Jewish Life Beyond the Synagogue

Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar

Click here for the PDF

American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population

Released September 2009, a report based on the American Religious Identification Survey 2008

Principal Investigators: Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar with Ryan Cragun and Juhem Navarro-Rivera 

Visit the ARIS 2008 Web site


American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) 2008

Principal Investigators: Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar   

Replicating the methodology of ARIS 2001, ISSSC undertook a large national survey of American religion and secularism. Through a collaboration with the FORA 2008, the new survey includes special modules on Catholic, Mainline Christian, Evangelical Born-again, African American and No Religion populations.

Other ARIS reports deal with the following religious groups and populations:

International Survey: Worldviews and Opinions of Scientists, India 2007-08 


Canadian American Research Series - Volume 4:1, Fall 2007 



Presentations delivered at the March 2006 ISSSC colloquium, Are U.S. Latino Society and Culture Undergoing Secularization?  

  • Secularization with Salsa
    Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo, Director, Center for Religion in Society and Culture (RISC) and Professor Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, Brooklyn College, SUNY 

American Religious Identification Survey 2001 

The first large-scale national survey of religious identification conducted among Americans in the twenty-first century.

Read the full report