Selected Publications


Brian Steensland, David P. King, and Barbara J. Duffy. 2022. “The Discursive and Practical Influence of Spirituality on Civic Engagement.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 61: 389-407.

Steensland, Brian, Jaime Kucinskas, and Anna Sun (eds). 2022. Situating Spirituality: Context, Practice, and Power. Oxford University Press.

Brian Steensland and Xiaoyun Wang. Forthcoming. “Philanthropy as Spiritual Practice: Contemporary Patterns and Prospects,” in Religion and Philanthropy in the United States, edited by David King and Philip Goff. Indiana University Press.

Brian Steensland, Xiaoyun Wang, and Lauren Schmidt. 2018. “Spirituality: What Does it Mean and to Whom?” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 57: 450-72.


Steensland, Brian, Robert D. Woodberry, and Jerry Z. Park. 2018. “Structure, Placement, and the Quest for Unidimensional Purity in Taxonomies of American Denominations.”  Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 57: 800-806.

Woodberry, Robert D., Jerry Z. Park, Lyman A. Kellstedt, Mark Regnerus, and Brian Steensland. 2012. “The Measure of American Religious Traditions: Theoretical and Measurement Considerations.” Social Forces 91: 65-73.

Steensland, Brian, Jerry Z. Park, Mark D. Regnerus, Lynn D. Robinson, W. Bradford Wilcox, and Robert D. Woodberry. 2000. “The Measure of American Religion: Toward Improving the State of the Art.” Social Forces 79:291-318.

  • Best Article Award from the Sociology of Religion section


Steensland, Brian and Christi Smith. 2012. “Culture, State, and Policy.” Pp. 229-239 in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology, edited by Edwin Amenta, Kate Nash, and Alan Scott. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Steensland, Brian. 2010. “Moral Classification and Social Policy.” Pp. 455-68 in The Handbook on the Sociology of Morality, edited by Steven Hitlin and Stephen Vaisey. New York, NY: Springer.

Steensland, Brian. 2009. “Restricted and Elaborated Modes in the Cultural Analysis of Politics.” Sociological Forum. 24: 926-42. (with response and rejoinder)

Steensland, Brian. 2008. The Failed Welfare Revolution: America’s Struggle Over Guaranteed Income Policy. Princeton University Press.

  • Mary Douglas Prize (Sociology of Culture)
  • Best Book Award (Political Sociology)

Steensland, Brian. 2008. “Why Do Policy Frames Change? Actor-Idea Coevolution in Debates over Welfare Reform.” Social Forces 86: 1027-1054.

Steensland, Brian. 2006. “Cultural Categories and the American Welfare State: The Case of Guaranteed Income Policy.” American Journal of Sociology 111: 1273-1326.

  • Best Article Award from the Sociology of Culture section
  • Honorable Mention, Political Sociology Best Article Award for Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship
  • Translated and abridged version in Claudio Benzecry (ed.), Hacia una Nueva Sociología Cultural: Mapas, Dramas y Prácticas. Buenos Aires: Quilmes University Press, 2012


Steensland, Brian and Philip Goff (eds). 2014. The New Evangelical Social Engagement. Oxford University Press.

Steensland, Brian and Eric L. Wright. 2014. “American Evangelicalism and Conservative Politics: Past, Present and Future.” Sociology Compass 8: 705-717.

Steensland, Brian and Zachary Schrank. 2011. “Is the Market Moral? Protestant Assessments of Market Society,” Review of Religious Research 53: 257-277.

Steensland, Brian. 2002. “The Hydra and the Swords: Social Welfare and Mainline Advocacy, 1964-2000.” Pp. 213-36 in The Quiet Hand of God: Faith-based Activism and the Public Role of Mainline Protestantism, edited by Robert Wuthnow and John H. Evans. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.

DiMaggio, Paul, Wendy Cadge, Lynn Robinson, and Brian Steensland. 2001. “The Role of Religion in Public Conflicts over the Arts in the Philadelphia Area, 1965-1997.” Pp. 103-138 in Crossroads: Art and Religion in American Life, edited by Alberta Arthurs and Glenn Wallach. New York, NY: The New Press.