Christian Smith is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame and a faculty fellow of the Kroc Institute for Peace Studies and the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies. He earned a B.A. in sociology from Gordon College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He went on to also study at the Harvard Divinity School for a year.
He is best known for his study of the sociology of religion, with explorations of spirituality in adolescence, evangelicalism, modern religion and the science and philosophy of generosity. He is also credited, with Melinda Lundquist Denton, for the term moralistic therapeutic deism which is used to describe the religious beliefs of American young people. This belief system is based on a basic understanding of good vs. evil and heaven vs. hell, in which God exists but is generally not involved with day-to-day life.
Smith uses a critical realism approach to sociological study. He has written a number of books, including To Flourish or Destruct: A Personalist Theory of Human Goods, Motivations, Failure, and Evil, How to Go From Being a Good Evangelical to a Committed Catholic in 95 Difficult Steps, and What Is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good from the Person Up.
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According to Wikipedia,
Christian Stephen Smith is an American sociologist, currently the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. Smith's research focuses primarily on religion in modernity, adolescents and emerging adults, sociological theory, philosophy of science, the science of generosity, American evangelicalism, and culture. Smith is well known for his contributions to the sociology of religion, particularly his research into adolescent spirituality, as well as for his contributions to sociological theory and his advocacy of critical realism.
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