We were just discussing the possible religious prejudices of American university faculty. I made the claim, based on my personal experience, that among the Arts faculty, a majority did not accept traditional, conservative religion. Someone asked me to provide some numbers, to back up my claim.
A thorough handling of the question would require a study of numbers from a wide range of departments: religion, philosophy, English, sociology, etc. I do not have time at the moment to undertake such a presentation, however, it is interesting how quickly I was able to find a major survey pertaining to philosophy departments in Anglo-American world. The study, published in 2013, can be found here:
The people surveyed are described as follows:
“… we chose as a target group all regular faculty members in 99 leading departments of philosophy. These include the 89 Ph.D.-granting departments in Englishspeaking countries rated 1.9 or above in the Philosophical Gourmet Report. They also include seven departments in non-English-speaking countries (all from continental Europe) and three non-Ph-D.-granting departments. These ten departments were chosen in consultation with the editor of the Gourmet Report and a number of other philosophers, on the grounds of their having strength in analytic philosophy comparable to the other
89 departments. The overall list included 62 departments in the US, 18 in the UK, 7 in Europe outside the UK, 7 in Canada, and 5 in Australasia.”
So over 2/3 of the departments surveyed were American departments, and the survey likely gives a pretty good idea of the situation in America, especially since Anglo-American philosophy, as the survey mentions, has been dominated by the analytical school, which means that we would not expect much difference between the situation in Australia, Canada, Britain, or the USA.
The survey covers a number of questions, not all of which are pertinent to our discussion, but one of the questions asked where the philosophy profs stood on the atheism/theism question.
The result was: 62% atheist, another 11% leaning to atheism, for a total of 73%.
Now, taking the lower figure, to be cautious, if 62% of philosophy professors are atheists, then at most 38% of philosophy professors can believe in a God of any kind, and therefore at most 38% of philosophy professors can believe in a traditional, conservative religious person’s idea of God. And the actual number is much less than 38%; part of the remainder was “leaning to atheism” (11%), and part (12%) was “other” (see pp. 7-8 for the meaning of the term), and only 14.6% explicitly called themselves “theists,” and of course theism is the minimal commitment for the traditional, conservative American religion we were discussing. So only about one in 7 definitely endorsed the minimal commitment required to be a traditional, orthodox, Christian, Jew, or Muslim.
If this survey is accurate, my generalization that philosophy faculty lean against conservative, traditional religion is justified, with a very large safety margin. Of course, other survey results could change the situation, and I’m open to adjustments to the numbers. But at the moment, it looks as if I called the situation correctly.
If I come up with anything similar for religion, English, etc. I will report on it.