Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

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(1919-) Sociologist of religion and expert in survey research. Attended public schools in the Bronx, New York, where he was born; earned B.S. degree in marketing at New York University (1940), M.B.A. at Boston University (1941), and after four years of military service, a Ph.D. in sociology at Columbia (1952). Closely associated with research projects under Paul Lazarsfeld and others at the Bureau of Applied Social Research at Columbia, 1946-1957, and Managing Director and then Director of that bureau, 1948-1957. Then, after a year at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford, California), 1957-1958, Glock joined the faculty of the Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, from 1958 until his retirement in 1979; was Director of the Survey Research Center there, 1958-1967, and also Director of the Program in Religion and Society at that center, 1967-1979. During the 1967-1968 school year, and again in 1969-1971, he chaired the Department of Sociology at Berkeley. He was also Adjunct Professor at Berkeley's Graduate Theological Union, 1965-1979. Active in various professional societies, Glock was a council member in the Religious Research Association in the early 1950s; president, American Association of Public Opinion Research, 1963-1964; one of the earliest members of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and its President, 1967-1968. During 1978-1979, he served as Vice-President of the American Sociological Association.

Glock is author, coauthor, or coeditor of 14 books and numerous articles reflecting his interests in survey research methodology, in the sociology of religion, and in religious and racial prejudice. Survey research was the empirical basis for most of his books and articles. As a disciple of Lazarsfeld and the Columbia school of survey methods, Glock favored a straightforward additive approach to scaling and measurement, and a multivariate tabular presentation of the data, over more abstract and mathematically sophisticated statistical methods. His work thus communicated successfully, regardless of the degree of quantitative sophistication on the parts of his readers, although he was sometimes criticized for the inadequacy of this approach in appropriately weighting causal variables.

Glock's accomplishments and prominence in the sociology of religion have tended to obscure somewhat his important work in the social and cognitive (as opposed to psychopathological) sources of racial and ethnic prejudice . His 1966 Christian Beliefs and Anti-Semitism (with Rodney Stark, Harper), based on a national survey and on a survey of Protestant and Catholic parishioners in northern California, was the first work ever to marshal empirical, quantitative data in support of a theory tying anti-Semitism to selective elements in Christian indoctrination. Later works (e.g., Stark et al. 1971, Glock et al. 1975, Quinley and Glock 1979, Apostle et al. 1983) both verified and expanded the theoretical orientation of the 1966 book. In particular, these later works demonstrated the importance not only of religious beliefs per se but also of more general outlooks or worldviews in giving rise to prejudice of various kinds (not just anti-Semitism).

Yet it is indeed in the sociology of religion that Glock's most prominent contributions are to be found. He was interested especially in three aspects of religious commitment (or "religiosity"), as he categorized them: nature, sources, and consequences . With his early collaborator Stark, he originally envisioned one volume on each of those three aspects, based primarily on data from the northern California survey; but only the first volume, on the nature of religious commitment, was ever published. Nevertheless, much of Glock's other work dealt, in one way or another, with the other two aspects. For example, To Comfort and to Challenge (with Benjamin Ringer and Earl Babbie, University of California Press 1967), based on Episcopalian survey data gathered during Glock's Columbia days, found the sources of religiosity partly in forms of deprivation associated with demographic traits such as age, gender, and family status. An early theoretical essay on deprivation as a source of religiosity (more fully developed in Glock 1973) identified five different forms of deprivation as central to the origin and etiology of religious and also secular institutions and movements. As for consequences , the third aspect of religiosity, certainly all of Glock's work on prejudice could be understood in large part as a series of investigations of at least one of religiosity's potential consequences.

Aside from his work on prejudice, Glock is probably best known for his five-dimensional scheme of the nature of religious commitment (Glock 1962). In their final form (Stark and Glock 1968), these dimensions consisted of belief, knowledge, experience, practice (sometimes subdivided into private and public ritual), and consequences . The last of these is qualitatively different than the other four, because it is by definition always a dependent variable, more complicated to isolate, and less clear in conceptualization. Glock's other four dimensions, however, have proved widely useful in research, because they are generally simple to measure and to distinguish one from another.

Relatively late in his career, Glock collaborated with Robert Bellah and with many doctoral and postdoctoral students in a series of studies resulting in The New Religious Consciousness (University of California Press 1976), a phenomenon expressed in a variety of new movements during the 1960s and 1970s, particularly in places like Berkeley. In this project, as well as in his various roles at Columbia and at UC Berkeley, Glock was mentor to at least three dozen students in various disciplines. Those who have subsequently gained some national prominence mainly in the sociology of religion include N. J. Demerath III, Phillip Hammond, Steven Hart, Armand Mauss, Rodney Stark, Ruth Wallace, and Robert Wuthnow.

Armand L. Mauss


R. Apostle et al., The Anatomy of Racial Attitudes (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983)

C. Y. Glock, "On the Study of Religious Commitment," Review of Recent Research on Religion and Character Formation (research supplement to Religious Education , July-August 1962): 98-110

C. Y. Glock (ed.), Religion in Sociological Perspective (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1973)

C. Y. Glock and R. Stark, Religion and Society in Tension (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1965)

C. Y. Glock et al., Adolescent Prejudice (New York: Harper, 1975)

H. Quinley and C. Y. Glock, Anti-Semitism in America (New York: Free Press, 1979)

R. Stark and C. Y. Glock, American Piety (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968)

R. Stark et al., Wayward Shepherds (New York: Harper, 1971).

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