Findings

Hallowed be thy name

Kevin Lewis

October 31, 2013

Rethinking Religious Gender Differences: The Case of Elite Women

Orestes Hastings & Michael Lindsay
Sociology of Religion, forthcoming

Abstract:
Decades of research has suggested that women are much more religious than men. Yet our survey of 107 women and 362 men who are alumni of the White House Fellows program finds that elite women are less likely than elite men to report religion as being important to their lives. When focusing on the fellows who are women, we find that obtaining a graduate degree from a top university, being highly committed to one's work, and being recognized for success are all associated with a lower likelihood of rating religion as important. We elucidate some of these findings with analyses of in-depth interviews. We suggest that aspiring women may not benefit from religion the same way men do and that religion often fails to provide similar levels of support for elite women as for elite men. We conclude by arguing for finer-grained measures of professional accomplishment and social standing to better understand gender differences in religion.

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"Russia's Most Effective Fifth Column": Cold War Perceptions of Un-Americanism in US Churches

Markku Ruotsila
Journal of American Studies, November 2013, Pages 1019-1041

Abstract:
From the very beginning of the Cold War, fundamentalist Christian organizations in the United States were engaged in a strident polemical campaign against the modern ecumenical movement and its American supporters in the major mainline churches. Consistently, this movement and its Social Gospel supporters were perceived as allies or tools of the Soviet Union, or at the very least as unwitting co-conspirators in world revolutionary projects that posed a direct threat to US national security. In the late 1940s and the early 1950s, the American Council of Christian Churches and other key fundamentalist organizations of the era developed a set of key theological arguments about the perceived un-Americanism of said churches and their clergy. Later in the 1950s, the fundamentalists allied with others on the religious and political right to push for a series of Congressional and FBI investigations into perceived subversion as practised by these churches. While ultimately unsuccessful in terms of their originally stated goals, these prolonged fundamentalist campaigns became a crucial site for disseminating the faith-based conceptions of Americanism and un-Americanism that eventually cohered in the contemporary religious right. This paper will investigate the Cold War fundamentalist discourse on un-Americanism and subversion in an effort to illumine the contours of perceived religious otherness in this exceptionally religious nation.

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Religion's Impact on the Divergent Political Attitudes of Evangelical Protestants in the United States and Brazil

Erin McAdams & Justin Earl Lance
Politics and Religion, September 2013, Pages 483-511

Abstract:
In the United States, Evangelical Protestants' political attitudes have been attributed to their conservative theological beliefs. As this religion's membership has increased around the world, other Evangelicals would logically be expected to demonstrate a similar conservatism in their political views. And yet, this anticipated result does not hold. In Brazil, for example, Evangelicals maintain moderate-to-liberal attitudes on several issues. To address this anomaly, this article relies on the Pew Forum's Multi-Country Religion Survey to examine the impact of religion on Evangelicals' ideology as well as attitudes on moral and economic issues in the United States and Brazil. While doctrinal orthodoxy predicts Evangelicals' moral conservatism, neither religious component examined significantly predicts Brazilian Evangelicals' ideology or economic attitudes. Significant differences in Brazilian and American attitudes on these dimensions in general suggest that the political environment plays a much larger role in whether - and how - religion influences these political attitudes.

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Religious Participation, Social Conservatism, and Human Development

Ben Gaskins, Matt Golder & David Siegel
Journal of Politics, October 2013, Pages 1125-1141

Abstract:
What is the relationship between human development, religion, and social conservatism? We present a model in which individuals derive utility from both the secular and religious worlds. Our model is unusual in that it explains both an individual's religious participation and her preferences over social policy at different levels of development. Using data from the pooled World Values Survey, we find that religious participation declines with human development and an individual's ability to earn secular income. We also find that although social conservatism declines with development in absolute terms, religious individuals become more socially conservative relative to the population average. Paradoxically, our results suggest that human development may make it easier for religious individuals to overcome collective action problems and obtain disproportionate political influence, even as their numbers dwindle and society as a whole becomes less socially conservative. Our analysis has important implications for the debate about secularization theory.

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What predicts religiosity? A multinational analysis of reproductive and cooperative morals

Jason Weeden & Robert Kurzban
Evolution and Human Behavior, November 2013, Pages 440-445

Abstract:
Theories of the sources of contemporary individual differences in religiosity have been proposed involving religiosity's role both in (1) enhancing within-group cooperation and (2) supporting high-commitment reproductive strategies. The present study used data from 296,959 individuals in around 90 countries from the World Values Survey/European Values Study to test the relative strength of individual differences in cooperative morals and reproductive morals in predicting individual differences in religiosity. Cooperative morals tended not to predict religiosity either substantially or in a consistent direction across world regions when entered simultaneously with reproductive morals. In contrast, more-restrictive reproductive morals were significant predictors of increased religiosity in every region, with the size of the relationship being small in poorer regions and large in wealthier regions. These findings run counter to the view that religiosity has a fundamental connection with cooperative morals; instead, particularly in developed countries, individuals' relationships with religious groups are more closely aligned with reproductive strategies.

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To Love or Hate Thy Neighbor: The Role of Authoritarianism and Traditionalism in Explaining the Link Between Fundamentalism and Racial Prejudice

Mark Brandt & Christine Reyna
Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Fundamentalism is consistently related to racial prejudice (Hall, Matz, & Wood, 2010), yet the mechanisms for this relationship are unclear. We identify two core values of fundamentalism, authoritarianism and traditionalism, that independently contribute to the fundamentalism-racial prejudice relationship. We also contextualize the fundamentalism-racial prejudice relationship by suggesting that fundamentalists may show prejudice based on conceptions of African Americans as violating values but show tolerance when prejudice is less justifiable. These ideas are tested and confirmed using three data sets from the American National Election Studies. Across all three samples, fundamentalism is related to increases in symbolic racism but decreases in negative affect towards African Americans, and these relationships are mediated by both authoritarianism and traditionalism.

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Earthly Reward to the Religious: Religiosity and the Cost of Public and Private Debt

Feng Jiang, Wei Li & Yiming Qian
University of Iowa Working Paper, August 2013

Abstract:
We examine the relationship between local religiosity and a firm's cost of debt. We document that firms headquartered in counties with high religiosity tend to have higher credit ratings and lower costs of debt. The impact of religiosity is stronger for young and small firms, firms followed by fewer analysts and firms that are not members of the S&P500 index. Moreover, religiosity has additional explanatory power for the cost of bank loans above and beyond its impact through credit rating, whereas its influence on the cost of public bonds is entirely explained by the rating channel. This is consistent with the notion that banks have superior abilities in pricing value-relevant information such as a firm's culture. Finally, we find that firms with high religiosity are less likely to experience rating downgrades, which lends validation to the negative relationship between religiosity and the cost of debt.

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Religious Participation and Economic Conservatism

Ben Gaskins, Matt Golder & David Siegel
American Journal of Political Science, October 2013, Pages 823-840

Abstract:
Why do some individuals engage in more religious activity than others? And how does this religious activity influence their economic attitudes? We present a formal model in which individuals derive utility from both secular and religious sources. Our model, which incorporates both demand-side and supply-side explanations of religion, is unusual in that it endogenizes both an individual's religious participation and her preferences over economic policy. Using data on over 70 countries from the pooled World Values Survey, we find that religious participation declines with societal development, an individual's ability to produce secular goods, and state regulations on religion, but that it increases with inequality. We also find that religious participation increases economic conservatism among the poor but decreases it among the rich. Our analysis has important insights for the debate about secularization theory and challenges conventional wisdom regarding the relationship between religious participation and economic conservatism.

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A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages

Marta Costa et al.
Nature Communications, October 2013

Abstract:
The origins of Ashkenazi Jews remain highly controversial. Like Judaism, mitochondrial DNA is passed along the maternal line. Its variation in the Ashkenazim is highly distinctive, with four major and numerous minor founders. However, due to their rarity in the general population, these founders have been difficult to trace to a source. Here we show that all four major founders, ~40% of Ashkenazi mtDNA variation, have ancestry in prehistoric Europe, rather than the Near East or Caucasus. Furthermore, most of the remaining minor founders share a similar deep European ancestry. Thus the great majority of Ashkenazi maternal lineages were not brought from the Levant, as commonly supposed, nor recruited in the Caucasus, as sometimes suggested, but assimilated within Europe. These results point to a significant role for the conversion of women in the formation of Ashkenazi communities, and provide the foundation for a detailed reconstruction of Ashkenazi genealogical history.

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Religion and Redistributive Voting in Western Europe

Daniel Stegmueller
Journal of Politics, October 2013, Pages 1064-1076

Abstract:
Why some individuals, who would clearly benefit from redistribution, do not vote for parties offering redistributive policies is an old puzzle of redistributive politics. Recent work in political economy offers an explanation based on the interplay between religious identity and party policies. Strategic parties bundle conservative moral policies with anti-redistribution positions inducing individuals with a strong religious identity to vote based on moral rather than economic preferences. I test this theory using microlevel data on individuals' vote choices in 24 recent multiparty elections in 15 Western European countries. I use an integrated model of religion, economic and moral preferences, and vote choice to show that religious individuals possess less liberal economic preferences, which shapes their vote choice against redistributive parties. This holds even for individuals who would clearly benefit from redistribution. Moreover, the redistributive vote of religious individuals is primarily based on economic not moral preferences.

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Victim Gender in News Coverage of the Priest Sex Crisis by the Boston Globe

Mary Marcel
Women's Studies in Communication, Fall 2013, Pages 288-311

Abstract:
Despite its 2002 lawsuit to force the Catholic Church to reveal cover-ups of sexual abuse by priests, prior to 2002 the Boston Globe engaged in a consistently misogynistic and homophobic bias in its reporting on the crisis. Its journalistic choices supported the frame of the Vatican and the influential Archdiocese of Boston: that this universal crisis was a problem only of a few liberal, "gay," American priests. International, national, and Massachusetts reporting by other newspapers included hundreds of stories of bishops' relationships with women; of priests impregnating nuns; of priests raping female novitiates; and of priests serially raping girls as young as four years old. Yet the Boston Globe chose to cover stories almost exclusively involving boy victims. This analysis shows how differently the Globe and other newspapers covered the stories of Father Robert E. Kelley, who admitted to raping more than 100 girls while serving the diocese in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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Reactions of Religious Fundamentalists to Taboo Images and Words

Larry Bates et al.
Psychological Reports, August 2013, Pages 1085-1108

Abstract:
Some view religious fundamentalism as inclusive of fear of the world as a dangerous place. Fundamentalists are known to have extensive taboo lists, but research concerning their reactions to taboo stimuli is sparse. If fear is a basic component of fundamentalism, then reactions to taboo stimuli should be somewhat similar to common fear reactions, including subjective appraisal of discomfort, psychophysiological arousal, cognitive interference, and behavioral avoidance. The current research addressed some of these questions with three studies to examine subjective discomfort to religiously-taboo and religiously-neutral words and photographs (N = 160), physiological arousal to these same photographs (N = 129), and attentional bias on a modified Stroop test of these same words (N = 182). Although subjective appraisals of discomfort to taboo words and photographs among fundamentalists were confirmed, this research did not find that physiological responses or cognitive interference to taboo stimuli were elevated in those scoring high in religious fundamentalism.

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Religious Affiliation and Hiring Discrimination in New England: A Field Experiment

Bradley Wright et al.
Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article describes a field experiment in which we sent fictitious resumes to advertised job openings in New England, in the Northeast region of the United States. We randomly altered the resumes to indicate affiliation in one of seven religious groups or a control group. Resumes that mentioned any religious affiliation received about one-quarter fewer phone calls than did the control group but there were no significant difference in e-mails received. Muslim applicants received one-third fewer responses from employers, either as phone calls or e-mails, than did the control group. There was also evidence of discrimination against atheists, Catholics and pagans. These findings are consistent with theoretical models of secularization and cultural distaste theory.

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HPV Vaccine Decision-Making and Acceptance: Does Religion Play a Role?

Rachel Shelton et al.
Journal of Religion and Health, December 2013, Pages 1120-1130

Abstract:
We conducted a web-based survey among 476 white, Black, and Hispanic parents or caregivers with daughter(s) between the ages of 9-17 to better understand how religion influences HPV vaccine acceptance. Catholic parents were more likely than nonaffiliated parents to have already vaccinated their daughters (vs. being undecided) (OR = 3.26, 95% CI = 1.06, 10.06). Parents with frequent attendance at religious services were more likely than parents who do not attend services to have decided against vaccination (vs. being undecided) (OR = 2.92, 95% CI = 1.25, 6.84). Directions for research and implications for interventions are addressed.

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Religious fundamentalism: A conceptual critique

Richard McDonough
Religious Studies, December 2013, Pages 561-579

Abstract:
The article argues that religious fundamentalism, understood, roughly, as the view that people must obey God's commands unconditionally, is conceptually incoherent because such religious fundamentalists inevitably must substitute human judgement for God's judgement. The article argues, first, that fundamentalism, founded upon the normal sort of indirect communications from God, is indefensible. Second, the article considers the crucial case in which God is said to communicate directly to human beings, and argues that the fundamentalist interpretation of such communications is also incoherent, and, on this basis, argues that religious fundamentalism is actually an extreme form of irreligiousness. Finally, the article considers Kierkegaard's prima facie defence of unconditional religious faith, and argues that, despite some similarity with the fundamentalists, Kierkegaard's appreciation of human finitude leads him to a profoundly anti-fundamentalist stance.

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Risk aversion and religion

Charles Noussair et al.
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, October 2013, Pages 165-183

Abstract:
We use a dataset for a demographically representative sample of the Dutch population that contains a revealed preference risk attitude measure, as well as detailed information about participants' religious background, to study three issues. First, we find strong confirmatory evidence that more religious people, as measured by church membership or attendance, are more risk averse with regard to financial risks. Second, we obtain some evidence that Protestants are more risk averse than Catholics in such tasks. Third, our data suggest that the link between risk aversion and religion is driven by social aspects of church membership, rather than by religious beliefs themselves.

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The Domestic Politics of International Religious Defamation

Peter Henne
Politics and Religion, September 2013, Pages 512-537

Abstract:
From 2005 to 2010, the Organization for Islamic Cooperation attempted to ban the defamation of religion internationally through a series of United Nations resolutions. Although many opposed the resolutions for their potential effects on political rights, numerous non-Muslim states supported them. What explains the dynamic of this support, especially the resolutions' religious nature and significant non-Muslim backing? I argue that non-democratic states that restrict religion have an incentive to take action on contentious international issues - such as the religious defamation resolutions - to gain support from religious groups and justify their restrictive policies, even though Muslim religious defamation concerns and developing country solidarity also contributed to support. I demonstrate this through a mixed-method study, with a quantitative analysis of states' votes on the resolutions and case studies of Belarus and Pakistan. The article contributes to the study of religion and politics, as well as studies on the dynamics of United Nations voting.

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Race and the Religious Contexts of Violence: Linking Religion and White, Black, and Latino Violent Crime

Jeffery Ulmer & Casey Harris
Sociological Quarterly, Fall 2013, Pages 610-646

Abstract:
Research has demonstrated that concentrated disadvantage and other measures are strongly associated with aggregate-level rates of violence, including across racial and ethnic groups. Less studied is the impact of cultural factors, including religious contextual measures. The current study addresses several key gaps in prior literature by utilizing race/ethnic-specific arrest data from California, New York, and Texas paired with religious contextual data from the Religious Congregations and Memberships Survey. Results suggest that, net of important controls, (1) religious contextual measures have significant crime-reducing associations with violence; (2) these associations are race/ethnic specific; and (3) religious contextual measures moderate the criminogenic association between disadvantage and violence for blacks. Implications for future research are discussed.

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Islam, Religiosity, and Immigrant Political Action In Western Europe

Aida Just, Maria Elena Sandovici & Ola Listhaug
Social Science Research, January 2014, Pages 127-144

Abstract:
The issues of migration and immigrant political integration in western democracies have become increasingly intertwined with debates on religion, particularly Islam. To date, however, we have surprisingly little systematic research on how religious beliefs are related to immigrants' political engagement. In this study, we argue that religion has a capacity to mobilize immigrants politically but the strength of this relationship depends on immigrant generation, religiosity, and the type of religion. Using survey data collected as part of the European Social Survey (ESS) 2002-10 in 18 West European democracies, our analyses reveal that religion is indeed linked to political engagement of immigrants in a complex way: while belonging to a religion is generally associated with less political participation, exposure to religious institutions appears to have the opposite effect. Moreover, we find that, compared to foreign-born Muslims, second-generation Muslim immigrants are not only more religious and more politically dissatisfied with their host countries, but also that religiosity is more strongly linked to their political engagement. This relationship, however, is limited to uninstitutionalized political action.

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Praying for outcomes one knows would be bad

T.J. Mawson
Religious Studies, December 2013, Pages 551-560

Abstract:
In this article, I consider what states of knowledge of the value of outcomes are consistent with a classical theist's praying to God that He bring about those outcomes. I proceed from a consideration of the cases which seem least problematic (the theist knows these outcomes to be ones which would be, at least after they've been prayed for, best or at least good), through a consideration of cases where the outcomes prayed for are ones the goodness and badness of which the theist is agnostic about, to consider finally praying for outcomes that the theist knows would be bad at the time he or she is praying for them. I conclude that even prayers of this last sort should, albeit only on rare occasions, be prayed.

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The effect of religious and sexual stigmas on programmers and trust in their work product

Stephen Rice & Jessica Richardson
Social Science Journal, June 2013, Pages 244-251

Abstract:
Research on stigmatized individuals is widespread; however, there are only a few studies on how stigma affects trust in a stigmatized person's work product. In two experiments, participants evaluate a target individual who is described as either Christian/Jewish/Muslim/Atheist-Agnostic or either heterosexual/homosexual/bisexual. Participants are asked to rate how they feel about a target and how trustworthy they feel the target individual's work product is. All religions and sexual orientations except Christian or Jewish heterosexuals are rated less positively and their work products are rated as less trustworthy compared to a neutral control. Results also show that affect plays a strong mediating role in the relationship between stigmatized conditions and trust in work product.


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