Ernie Rea and guests discuss the promise and pitfalls of religious polls.
The first Gallup national poll into religion was carried out in 1935. Ever since - but especially with the arrival of the internet - pollsters have fed a hungry media the latest statistics about belief in God and church attendance. How important is the polling industry to our understanding of religion? What can the polls not tell us? What is their relationship to academic social sciences? Professor Robert Wuthnow from Princeton University argues that polling on religion is a huge waste of money and creates rather than reflects categories of believers and non-believers. Also joining Ernie Rea to discuss the promise and pitfalls of religious polls are Professor David Voas from University College London, Katie Harrison from the Faith Unit at Comres and Andrew Graystone, founder and former director of the Church Media network.
Producer: Rosie Dawson.