by Ronald Lawson, Ph.D.  |  16 January 2019  |

The paper we are uploading to my website this week is the second in the series comparing Mormons, Adventists, and Witnesses, all of which began in the USA in the 19th century and became global in their scope. The title of this paper explains its thrust: “Comparing the Geographic Distributions and Growth of Mormons, Adventists and Witnesses.” Written by Ronald Lawson and Ryan T. Cragun, the paper was published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion in 2012. Here is the brief summary of the paper from its abstract:

Mormons, Adventists, and Witnesses have all felt called to take their teachings to the world and have experienced growth. However, they have varied considerably in both their geographic spread—where they have developed a presence over time—and also in where they have been more successful numerically.  The result is sharply differing profiles: Adventists are concentrated more in the Developing World; Witnesses and Mormons are proportionately stronger in the Developed World, but in different parts of it. Within countries, Witnesses and Mormons are more urban, while Adventists are more concentrated in rural regions; Adventists also tend to be poorer than Witnesses and especially practicing Mormons. The article explores why these differing patterns developed. It expands a recently developed theoretical model by Cragun and Lawson that religious growth depends on the synchronization of supply and demand and their corresponding components. In order to read the whole paper, you are invited to go to RonaldLawson.net.


Ronald Lawson is a lifelong Seventh-day Adventist, and a sociologist studying urban conflicts and sectarian religions. He is retired from Queens College, CUNY.

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