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Faith and the Environment: Religious Beliefs and Attitudes on Environmental Policy

James L. Guth, John C. Green, Lyman A. Kellstedt and Corwin E. Smidt
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 39, No. 2 (May, 1995), pp. 364-382
DOI: 10.2307/2111617
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111617
Page Count: 19
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Faith and the Environment: Religious Beliefs and Attitudes on Environmental Policy
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Abstract

Conservative Christian theology contains a set of beliefs that run counter to the philosophy supporting environmentalism. Conservative eschatology (Biblical literalism, End Times thinking), religious tradition, and religious commitment should be negatively related to support for environmental policy. Using data from four national surveys of clergy, religious activists, political-party contributors, and the mass public, we analyze the impact of religious variables on attitudes toward environmental protection. We find that conservative eschatology, religious tradition, and religious commitment all have strong bivariate associations with environmentalism. In multivariate analyses, however, conservative eschatology proves by far the strongest religious predictor of environmental perspectives, although other measures exert occasional influence.

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