C-SPAN Features JBU Professor’s Research

Siloam Springs, Ark (September 21, 2000) — Dr. Franklyn C. Niles, assistant professor of Political Science at John Brown University, delivered a paper at the Meeting of the American Political Science Association in Washington, DC. Presentations for the “Religion and Electoral Politics” panel were given prime time coverage on C-Span. This is due to the prominence of religion in the 2000 general election. The annual APSA meeting occurred Aug. 31 - Sept. 3.

Niles’ paper is entitled, “Through A Glass Darkly: Assessing the Impact of Religious Identity and Private Devotionalism on Attitudes Towards Social Welfare Spending and Social Conservatism Among American Protestants.” Niles researched and wrote the piece along with Erin G. McCammon, a senior political science major. The ASPA is one of the largest gatherings of political scientists form around the world. Papers are accepted through a proposal process, and then presented on panels at the annual meeting.

“In this paper we develop a political model of private devotionalism (e.g., prayer and Bible reading),” said Niles. “In turn we explore, using public opinion data, the relationship between religious group identification, private devotionalism, and political attitudes. We find that, depending upon issue area, prayer and Bible reading significantly enhance the impact of religious identification on attitudes towards social welfare spending and social-moral conservatism. Our paper was well received by other scholars.”

Niles joined the JBU faculty in the fall of 1999. The unique Christian community that emphasizes both evangelical spiritual development and rigorous academic achievement is what drew Niles to JBU. He previously taught at the University of Houston where he completed his M.A. and Ph.D. He received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside.

To view a streaming video clip of Niles' presentation, point your web browser to: http://video.c-span.org:8080/ramgen/hdrive/e083100_religion.rm Viewing this video requires that you have the free RealPlayer. (Once the video has started playing, advance the slider to 55:00:00 minutes to see Dr. Niles.) free download

John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of over 1,500 students from 46 states and 30 countries. JBU is a member of the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities as well as the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.