Byron Johnson

Senior Fellow

johnsonByron Johnson is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences, Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR), and director of the Program on Prosocial Behavior, all at Baylor University. He is a Senior Fellow at the Witherspoon Institute, Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for Jewish and Community Research (San Francisco), and chief advisor for the Center for the Study of Religion and Chinese Society, Peking University (Beijing). Before joining the faculty at Baylor University, Johnson directed research centers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Pennsylvania and taught at Princeton University. Professor Johnson just completed a series of empirical studies for the Department of Justice on the role of religion in prosocial youth behavior and is a member of the Coordinating Council for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Presidential Appointment). He is recognized as a leading authority on the scientific study of religion, the efficacy of faith-based organizations, domestic violence, and criminal justice. His book More God, Less Crime (Templeton Press, 2011) examines the impact of faith-based programs on recidivism reduction and prisoner reentry.

Along with other ISR colleagues he is completing a series of empirical studies on the religious landscape of China. Johnson and ISR colleagues are partnering with the Gallup Organization on studies addressing religion and spirituality in the world. Johnson has received more than 24 million dollars in funding from private foundations as well as federal agencies including the Department of Justice, Department of Defense, U.S. Institute of Peace, Department of Labor, and the National Institutes of Health.