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Religiosity and Political Tolerance in Poland

Vyacheslav Karpov
Sociology of Religion
Vol. 60, No. 4 (Winter, 1999), pp. 387-402
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3712022
Page Count: 16
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Religiosity and Political Tolerance in Poland
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Abstract

Data from the 1993 Polish General Social Survey (N = 1, 649) give little support to a popular view that religious influences in postcommunist Poland are essentially illiberal and associated with political intolerance. When the influences of socioeconomic status, age, and social liberalism are controlled, religious affiliation, commitment, and participation have only weak indirect effects on political tolerance. What predicts intolerance directly is a political correlate of religiosity - support for the power of the church in society. Thus, political intolerance is predicted by theocratic political beliefs rather than religious affiliation, commitment, and participation. However, the majority of Polish Catholics does not share such beliefs. In this case, popular religiosity is an unlikely obstacle to democratic consolidation.

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