Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Raise your income by 10%

worship at King of PeaceYes, the headline does sound like a marketing ploy. But a recent issue of The Economist had an Economics Focus column on Wealth from Worship which looked at the surprising rewards of frequent church attendance. It seems that Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist found that doubling your church attendance will raise your income by 10%. The article told of Gruber's further claims that, "regular religious participation leads to better education, higher income and a lower chance of divorce."

Cause and Effect
A key question of course is whether the data is coincidental or the result of a cause-effect relationship between church attendance and a better standard of living. Gruber cites three reasons for the potential earnings gains:
  • Church attendance creates a web of relationships within the larger community which brings with it social capital, making business deals easier to pull off.
  • Those who attend church regularly also have mutual emotional and (in times of distress) financial support that allows quicker recovery from problems.
  • Lastly, Gruber posits that regular church attenders are more able to succeed due to being less stressed than their non-church going neighbors.

The full text of The Economist article is online here. What do you think of these less-than-spiritual reasons for attending church?

In the archives
You will find religion columns from the Tribune & Georgian on
Why a non-believer may want a church
Build a sense of community in church

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church

King of Peace with the chairs arranged around the altar for Advent


  • At 1/11/2006 4:46 PM, Blogger Miroslav said…

    "What do you think of these less-than-spiritual reasons for attending church?" - Hmmm... how to tackle that question. I can't imagine that people actually attend church in order to receive those 'benefits' ... but neither would I deny that they exist. Of course, I wonder if the same sort of benefits aren't also realized in other religions.

    I have to say that I find it far more fascinating to consider why people attend church who do not have faith in the God that is worshipped there. And dovetailing off that question, I then ponder the large numbers of simple pew-sitters. Quasi-believers. Casual Christians. Culturally molded. Call them what you will. I wonder if that sort of faith isn't something clung to, almost desperately, ... because Life is too difficult without it.

    But of course, that isn't really the point in this post. :)

    So I'll be quiet now.


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