Wade Clark Roof

Professor of Religious Studies
Ph.D., University of North Carolina
Sociology & Psychology of Religion, American Religion
HSSB 3082


For a sociologist of religion, California is an excellent setting in which to work. Here we have religious diversity on a scale unlike anywhere else in the world plus cutting-edge religious and spiritual trends. The new religious pluralism poses challenges for civic participation and unity – and thus invites the study of new, emerging styles of civil religion infused with global symbolism. Southern California offers opportunities as well to re-examine American religion without presupposing a strong ecclesiastical establishment – and thus raises questions about the meaning of the “religious” in its popular and institutional expressions.


  • Religious Pluralism and Civil Society. Philadelphia: American Academy of Political and Social Science. Published as issue of The Annals, 2007.
  • Religion and Public Life in the Pacific Region: Fluid Identities (edited with Mark Silk), AltaMira Press, 2005.
  • Bridging Divided Worlds: Generational Cultures in Congregations (with J. Carroll), Jossey-Bass, 2002.
  • Contemporary American Religion. MacMillan Reference USA, 2000.
  • “Spiritual Seeking in the United States; Report on a Panel Study,” Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions 109 (Janvier-Mars, 2000).
  • Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion. Princeton University Press, 1999.

Selected Articles:

“Myths Undergirding War: American Presidential Rhetoric from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush,” Social Compass,(June, 2009).

Courses Taught:

  • RS 15: Religion and Psychology
  • RS 40: Religion and Society
  • RS 143: Seminar in Religion and Society: Research Methods
  • RS 152: Religion in America Today
  • RS 182: Ethics of the Life Cycle
  • RS 240: Seminar in the Sociology of Religion
  • RS 243: Seminar in Religion and Society: Research Methods
  • RS 244: Seminar in Religion and Society: Special Topics