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Keywords:

  • White-collar crime;
  • Durkheim;
  • Stark;
  • modernization;
  • religious belief;
  • moral communities

This article examines whether shared religious beliefs and religious social relationships (Durkheim) and belief in a personal, moral God (Stark) negatively affect attitudes toward the acceptability of white-collar crime. In addition, using a large cross-national sample and estimating multilevel models, we test whether effects are conditional on modernization and religious contexts characterized by belief in an impersonal or amoral God. Shared religious beliefs and the importance of God in one's life are negatively related to the acceptability of white-collar crime. These effects, however, weaken in religious contexts characterized by belief in an impersonal or amoral God as do the effects of religious social relationships and belonging to a religious organization; modernization, on the other hand, does not have a moderating effect. In short, religious belief is associated with lower acceptance of white-collar crime and certain types of religious contexts condition this relationship.