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Many of us are persuaded that religion is not merely one element among many in life but is central to one’s entire being. Social and political scientists have explored the implications of this for partisan loyalties, among other things.  But could one’s ecclesial commitments influence the more mundane side of life? For example, take a look at this map:

Generic Names for Soft Drinks

. . . and then look at this map:

Leading Church Bodies, 2000


I won’t pretend to isolate the causal connection, but it certainly appears that what Southern Baptists call coke, Lutherans and Methodists call pop and Catholics call soda. I offer this puzzling phenomenon to the graduate student in the social sciences casting about for a dissertation topic.

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