A Structural Examination of Religion
If one adopts a definition of religion that emphasizes its function, as in coping with chaos or in expressing ultimate concern (rather than the forms which serve such functions in one system or another), the more crucial measurement question becomes "How is a person religious?" rather than "How religious is he?" Following the analogy of structural linguistics or of natural history, an exploratory effort was made, with open-ended, non-doctrinal questions to tap the natural expression of ultimate concern among a college sample. Students did indicate overwhelmingly their inclinations to pursue basic, permanent questions. Those most expressing such concerns were most likely to belong to groups formed to address such concerns.
Yinger, J. Milton. Spring 1969. "A Structural Examination of Religion." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 8(1): 88-99.
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion