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Moral Divisions within Countries between Orthodoxy and Progressivism: India and the United States

Lene Arnett Jensen
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 37, No. 1 (Mar., 1998), pp. 90-107
DOI: 10.2307/1388031
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1388031
Page Count: 18
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Moral Divisions within Countries between Orthodoxy and Progressivism: India and the United States
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Abstract

Recently, scholars have argued that divisions have emerged within many countries between tendencies toward orthodoxy or fundamentalism on the one hand, and progressivism or modernism on the other hand. In the present study, interviews assessing moral evaluation and reasoning were carried out with individuals in India and the United States who might be expected to tend toward orthodoxy and progressivism (N = 80, ages 35-55). In both countries, progressivists reasoned more in terms of Shweder's (1990) Ethic of Autonomy than orthodox participants, whereas orthodox participants reasoned more in terms of the Ethic of Divinity than progressivists. However, cross-cultural differences were also found. Progressivist Americans more than progressivist Indians tended toward hyperindividualism.

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