“‘Too Smart to be Religious?’ Discreet Seeking Amidst Religious Stigma at an Elite College” grew from a class on the sociology of religion taught by Kucinskas in 2014. To gain first-hand knowledge of the topic, students in the class conducted interviews in which they asked other students about religiosity and spirituality.
Boucher, a sociology major, continued the work of the class as an independent study project, funded in part by the Days-Massolo Center and the Office of the Chaplaincy. She conducted additional interviews and analyzed the responses, including those from the class. Kucinskas provided advice and guidance throughout the project.
The results showed that most students “kept their religious and spiritual expressions hidden and private,” due in part to “a widespread stigma against religious and spiritual expression.” The authors suggested that fostering peer dialogue about religion early in the college experience could be a way for colleges to help “increase students’ comfort with religious and spiritual exploration.”
The article has also been accepted for publication in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. A date has not yet been announced.