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Who Favors Ecumenism? A Study of Some of the Correlates of Support for Ecumenism

James R. Kelly
Sociological Analysis
Vol. 32, No. 3 (Autumn, 1971), pp. 158-169
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/3709999
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3709999
Page Count: 12
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Who Favors Ecumenism? A Study of Some of the Correlates of Support for Ecumenism
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Abstract

The few sociologically-informed studies of ecumenism that have been done are generally speculative rather than empirical. The most common hypotheses relate ecumenism to threats to organized religion, the declining importance of church membership, and to a loss of concern for traditional Christian doctrines. This study of the membership of seven churches in a New England suburb investigates whether these factors are related to attitudes of active church members toward ecumenism. Support for ecumenism was found to be unrelated to fear of declining church influence, lack of church participation, and to a lack of concern for traditional Christian tenets. For Protestants and Roman Catholics ecumenism was related to an advocacy of church involvement in social and political issues and to the presence of a cognitive interest in religious questions. The bases of Roman Catholic support of ecumenism were found to be broader than those of Protestantism. Roman Catholics who were highly involved in their church and who accepted tradional Christian teachings were more likely than other Catholics to support ecumenism.

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