Our Core Values

Inclusive Community comprises an intentional space where people are nurtured, respected, and connected. The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion has a competitive advantage that it spans many groups in the study of religion. Members hail from every branch of social science, region of the globe, as well as many racial and ethnic groups. This strength has been a double-edged sword, with some members, namely non-sociologists, those residing outside North America, and racial/ethnic minorities expressing lower levels of satisfaction with SSSR. By naming “inclusive community” as a value of SSSR, we seek to (1) emphasize the diversity of our membership, (2) ensure all feel the same sense of belonging that many already do as is repeatedly indicated in the survey, and (3) expand and strengthen the community atmosphere of SSSR meetings.

Excellent Scholarship requires the development of relevant, evidence-based knowledge that advances the social scientific study of religion. Excellent scholarship is required for the social scientific study of religion to be a prestigious pursuit. SSSR plays a crucial role in excellent scholarship by mentoring, supporting, and connecting social scientists of religion throughout the life course. In addition, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion can be a competitive advantage for SSSR in promoting a high standard of creative, consequential, and cross-disciplinary work.

Public Engagement involves proactively translating social scientific research on religion for multiple publics. The social scientific study of religion was foundational to the development of many social sciences.  Today, however, it is less central than it should be given the importance of religion (in all its empirically observable forms) to society. This value connotes a proactive approach to engaging others with the importance of the social scientific study of religion. The publics we work with include our respective disciplines, news media, as well as other interested groups and organizations, religious or otherwise. This value also reflects the desire of many in the organization to improve the lives of people.

Adopted by SSSR Council October 25, 2019.