Bouma, Gary D., Ezzy, Douglas, Halafoff, Anna and Possamai, Adam 2015, Sociology of religion in Australia. In Blasi, Anthony J. and Giordan, Giuseppe (ed), Sociologies of religion: national traditions, Brill, Lieden, The Netherlands, pp.377-403.
The sociology of religion has been a moderately strong theme in Australian sociology. Most Australian sociologists of religion have been trained in Australia with a smattering of those trained in the USA, the UK or elsewhere. While Christian churches once maintained research offices including sociologists and some seminaries once included the sociology of religion in their offerings, this is no longer so. Other religious groups have not yet grown to such strength that the support of their own research sections has been possible, but several have actively funded research-including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and Scientology. The Christian Research Association, founded in the mid-198os, is the only independent research organization in Australia devoted to the sociology of religion. While largely funded by church organizations, it also receives government grants and has maintained its independence of religious organisations.The National Church Life Survey group, which also commenced work in the mid-198os, conducts a nation-wide survey of church attenders every five years at the time of the Australian census (e.g. Kaldor et al. 1994, 1999 ). Their time series data on Australian Catholics are excellent, being gathered according to random selection techniques. The NCLS also provides five-yearly reports on Protestants and Anglicans and other studies of congregational life in Australia. There are no systematic data sources on the Orthodox, who comprise three percent of the national population and six percent of the population in Melbourne.
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