Mark A. Chaves
  • Mark A. Chaves

  • Professor of Sociology
  • Sociology
  • Soc-psych
  • Phone: (919) 660-5783
  • Fax: 919-660-5623
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Overview

    Professor Chaves specializes in the sociology of religion. Most of his research is on the social organization of religion in the United States. Among other projects, he directs the National Congregations Study (NCS), a wide-ranging survey of a nationally representative sample of religious congregations conducted in 1998, 2006-07, and 2012. NCS results have helped us to better understand many aspects of congregational life in the United States. Professor Chaves is the author of American Religion: Contemporary Trends (Princeton, 2011),  Congregations in America (Harvard, 2004), Ordaining Women: Culture and Conflict in Religious Organizations (Harvard, 1997), and many articles.
  • Areas of Interest

    social organization of religion
  • Education

      • Ph.D.,
      • Harvard University,
      • 1991
      • M.Div.,
      • Harvard University,
      • 1985
  • Selected Publications

      • Mark Chaves.
      • (2011).
      • American Religion: Contemporary Trends.
      • Princeton University Press.
      • M Chaves.
      • (2013).
      • Serendipity in the Study of Religion and Society.
      • manual
      • Titus Hjelm and Phil Zuckerman (Eds.),
      • Studying Religion and Society
      • ,
      • 105-115.
      • Routledge.
      • M Chaves.
      • (2012).
      • Religious Congregations.
      • manual
      • Lester Salamon (Eds.),
      • The State of Nonprofit America, Second Edition
      • ,
      • 362-393.
      • Brookings Institution Press.
      • M Chaves.
      • (2010).
      • Rain dances in the dry season: overcoming the religious congruence fallacy.
      • Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
      • ,
      • 49
      • (1)
      • ,
      • 1-14.
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      Religious congruence refers to consistency among an individual’s religious beliefs and attitudes, consistency between religious ideas and behavior, and religious ideas, identities, or schemas that are chronically salient and accessible to individuals across contexts and situations. Decades of anthropological, sociological, and psychological research establish that religious congruence is rare, but much thinking about religion presumes that it is common. The religious congruence fallacy occurs when interpretations or explanations unjustifiably presume religious congruence. I illustrate the ubiquity of religious incongruence, show how the religious congruence fallacy distorts thinking about religion, and outline an approach to help overcome the fallacy.

      • M Chaves.
      • (2004).
      • Congregations in America.
      • Harvard University Press.
      • M Chaves.
      • (1997).
      • Ordaining Women: Culture and Conflict in Religious Organizations.
      • Harvard University Press.
  • View All Publications
  • Teaching

    • SOCIOL 721S.01
      • RESEARCH PRACTICUM
      • Soc/Psych 329
      • M 10:05 AM-12:35 PM
  • ict background