Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 164–178 | Cite as

Episcopal Measure of Faith Tradition: A Context-Specific Approach to Measuring Religiousness

  • Daniel E. Hall
  • Harold G. Koenig
  • Keith G. Meador
Original Paper


Precise measurement of religiousness remains a vexing problem. In addition to relying almost exclusively on self-report, existing measures of religiousness pay little attention to the specific context of religious belief, and this may override distinctive norms of particular faith traditions and potentially confound the conclusions drawn from such research. To address these limitations, the authors describe a modified form of narrative content analysis that could eventually sort respondents into distinct theological traditions. A pilot test among Episcopalians demonstrates encouraging reliability (kappa 0.74, 95% LCI 0.47, P < 0.0002), and tests for convergent and discriminate validity suggest that the context of religious belief is both relevant and insufficiently assessed by the existing paradigm of religious measurements. If validated in a religiously diverse sample, this approach could be combined with existing, context-free measures of religiousness to generate more meaningful findings.


Formation Status Religious Tradition Religious Attendance Faith Tradition Religious Context 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank Scott Morin who assisted with the collection of this data as well as Stanley Hauerwas, Timothy Kimbrough, Cynthia Linkas, Charlotte Sullivan, Colin Williams, K. Alon White, three anonymous priests, and 23 anonymous subjects. This work would not be successful without their generous gifts of time and wisdom. We also thank the three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on the earlier drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel E. Hall
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Harold G. Koenig
    • 1
  • Keith G. Meador
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Duke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Duke Divinity SchoolDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Center for Health Equity Research and PromotionVA Pittsburgh Healthcare SystemPitttsburghUSA

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