Beyond the Lynn White Thesis: Congregational Effects on Environmental Concern


Correspondence should be addressed to Paul A. Djupe, Department of Political Science, Denison University, OH, 43023. E-mail:


An extensive literature has explored the effects of religion on opinions about environmental protection and action on environmental issues, but has largely concerned itself with the effects of theology as inspired by the Lynn White thesis. However, religion is multifaceted and any complete study should also incorporate the social dimensions of religious experience. In this article, we employ a unique data set to demonstrate the varied informational effects of church membership on environmental attitudes. We find that social sources of information in the church shape the dimensions of religious belief and exert much stronger effects on attitudes on the environment than do doctrinal or religiosity measures.