Friday, May 06, 2005


On balance, it seems clear that the opportunity cost of time does affect religious behavior, leading to variation in both the level and the time intensity of religious activity. Regression analyses of survey data consistently find that as wages increase, religious participation becomes more money-intensive, with rates of church contributions rising relative to rates of church attendance.

This pattern holds over the life cycle (with participation becoming most money-intensive in the prime earning years), across households..., and across denominations. Denominations whose members average relatively high levels of income and education rely more heavily on the services of professional ministers, teachers, choir directors, and janitors. They also tend to hold fewer and shorter meetings and require less time-consuming rituals.

...[Yet the] large gap between male and female rates of self-reported religiousity and religious participation has not narrowed over the part few decades, despite the tremendous increase in women's labor force participation rates....

-Lawrence R. Iannoccone, 1998.

In some Episcopal churches it is understood that the IHS on the face of the altar stands for 1 Hour Service.

Addendum: At my former church, prior to moving to our new buidling we held services in the cafeteria of a high school with the initials IHS. Those initials were prominently displayed as was the mascot, a yellow jacket, emblazoned on the wall behind the makeshift altar.

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