WASHINGTON, DC – Dr. Melissa Deckman, chair of the political science department at Washington College, is one of five “leading academic voices” named as the first Affiliated Scholars of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). She will regularly contribute insights to the Institute’s “Faith in the Numbers” research blog and will work with its senior researchers on peer-review articles.
Founded in 2009 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Public Religion Research Institute has become a leading resource for non-partisan analysis of the role of religion in public and political life and the opinions that members of religious communities hold about topical issues. The creation of the Affiliated Scholars Program enhances the Institute’s ability to provide perspective on the 2012 presidential election and the role religion and religious groups will play in shaping its outcome.
Deckman says PRRI is quickly establishing itself as a major source for news and analysis and she is excited about her new relationship with the organization. “As a scholar of religion and politics, I am grateful to have access to their excellent survey data, especially as we gear up for an exciting presidential election race this fall.”
The Louis L. Goldstein Professor of Public Affairs at Washington College, Deckman has written or co-written three books and contributed to dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters. Her 2004 book, School Board Battles: The Christian Right in Local Politics, won the American Political Science Association’s Hubert Morken Award for the best work on religion and politics. She edited a forthcoming volume about the politics of teaching the Bible and religion in public schools (slated for publication this fall), and her current research focuses on the nexus between gender and religion in the Tea Party movement.
Joining Deckman as 2012-2013 Affiliated Scholars at PRRI are Paul Djupe, associate professor of political science at Denison College and co-editor of the Cambridge Journal of Politics & Religion; Kerem Ozan Kalkan, incoming visiting assistant professor of political science at Stony Brook University; Laura R. Olson, professor of political science at Clemson University and editor-in-chief of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion; and Mark J. Rozell, professor of public policy at George Mason University.
Robert P. Jones, CEO of PRRI, says the Institute is “thrilled to be able to provide not only additional original research but also more timely insights for better understanding the role of religion in this fall’s presidential election.” To learn about the Institute and its new Affiliated Scholars Program, visit www.publicreligion.org.
Read her first blog posting, "How an Evangelical College’s Lawsuit Could Help Romney."