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Samuel Stroope

Sociology Doctoral Student

Baylor Sociology Doctoral Student Wins National Award for Research on Views of Scripture as Tied to Education Levels in Congregations
Doctoral student Samuel Stroope has been named recipient of an award given by
the Association for the Sociology of Religion for outstanding student paper of the
year. Stroope is the 2011 winner of the Robert J. McNamara Student Paper Award
for his paper "Education and Religion: Individual, Congregational, and Cross-Level Interaction Effects on Biblical Literalism." Using a large national data set, the paper
finds that an individual's view of the Bible as to be taken literally word-for-word is
linked to an individual's educational attainment and that of his or her fellow
congregants. Furthermore, education levels for the person and the congregation
build upon one another to make the affirmation of biblical literalism less likely. The
paper has been accepted for publication in the journal Social Science Research and
will appear in the fall. The committee selected the paper "because it examined an interesting topic and had a strong discussion of the findings and implications," said
Dr. Rachel Kraus, committee chair and associate professor of sociology at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. "In addition, Sam's paper had a strong structural component to the analysis and did an exceptionally good job attempting to explain,
rather than describe, social phenomena using empirical data."