Sunday, October 03, 2010

Australian spirituality stats

I flew to Auckland for a day the week before last in order to attend a conference run by the Church Life Survey people. It was valuable both in terms of meeting people and in hearing the plans for the next survey coming up in 2011.

I spend a good deal of my average week working with stats, both church and government (and any other kind I can lay my hands on), so I have some idea of the state of Christianity in New Zealand. The Church Life Survey is one source of such information. It has some connections with a similar group in Australia, and I've just been reading an article by Rowland Croucher which shows that the church/spiritual/Christian stats in Australia are pretty similar to those here in NZ.

Rowland's complete article is here, but those figures are culled from Shaping Australia's Spirituality: a Review of Christian Ministry in the Australian Context, by Philip Hughes and others (2010). This is a 150 page book (with some proof-reading errors, according to Rowland - the result of a publication date not leaving enough room for thoroughness) and, as Rowland says: won’t find more interesting summary-data on modern Australia and its religions, especially Christianity, anywhere else in one small readable volume.

The book was produced by the Christian Research Association in Australia - we used to have a similar body here. You can buy a copy from CRA themselves, or from some Australian bookshops (not Koorong, as far as I could see).

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