Structuring the Religion-Environment Connection: Identifying Religious Influences on Environmental Concern and Activism

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Abstract

Recent research on the connection between religion and environmental concern and activism has led to divergent conclusions, with some studies finding a negative effect of religious factors, and others finding no influence or a positive effect. Using a conceptual apparatus of structuration theory, we explain how these divergent findings might be reconciled. We examine data from the 1993 General Social Survey to elaborate how religious affiliation, participation, and beliefs influence environmental concern and private and political environmental activism. Estimates from structural equation models are presented to show the sometimes competing direct and indirect effects of religious affiliation, participation, and beliefs on environmental concern and private and political environmental action.

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