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The Sanctification of Nature and Theological Conservatism: A Study of Opposing Religious Correlates of Environmentalism
Nalini Tarakeshwar, Aaron B. Swank, Kenneth I. Pargament and Annette Mahoney
Review of Religious Research
Vol. 42, No. 4 (Jun., 2001), pp. 387-404
Published by: Religious Research Association, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3512131
Page Count: 18
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Nature, Clergy, Older adults, Sanctification, Environmentalism, Theology, Conservatism, Christianity, Environmental protection, Churches
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We examined the association of two distinct religious forces, sanctification of nature and theological conservatism, with environmental beliefs (humans take precedence over the environment and human actions hurt nature), willingness to sacrifice personal funds for the environment, and behaviors (participation in green activities) among three samples - members, elders, and clergy affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. Across all three samples, greater theologically conservative views were associated with lower care for the environment; conversely, a stronger belief in the sanctification of nature was associated with greater pro-environmental beliefs and willingness to invest personal funds in the environment. Sanctification of nature was also predictive of greater environmentally supportive behaviors among elders and clergy. After controlling for demographic variables and theological conservatism, sanctification of nature accounted for unique, though modest, amounts of variance in environmental variables. Moderated regression analyses revealed only a few significant group differences. Specifically, greater belief in sanctification was associated with more pro-environment behavior among clergy than members. Also, theological conservatism had a greater negative effect on pro-environment behaviors of clergy than elders. These findings suggest that religious institutions have the potential to support or discourage care for the environment.
Review of Religious Research © 2001 Religious Research Association, Inc.