Religion and attitudes towards nature in Britain

Bernadette C Hayes, M. Marangudakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Religious institutions have been identified as important conduits in shaping social attitudes toward nature and the environment. Using Lynn White's historical thesis that Judeo-Christianity has cherished the domination of nature ('dominion' belief) by humans as our frame of reference, this article examines the impact of religion, specifically Abrahamic and Judeo-Christian beliefs, on environmental attitudes in Britain. Based on the 1993 British Social Attitudes Survey, a nationally representative sample of the adult population in Britain, the multivariate results of this paper suggest that: (a) there is no significant difference between Christians and non-Christians concerning environmental attitudes; (b) Roman Catholics are the most sceptic toward nature among Christian denominations; and (c) irrespective of religious identification, the two most notable and consistent factors in determining pro-dominion attitudes in Britain are educational attainment and particularly levels of scientific knowledge about the natural environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-155
Number of pages16
JournalThe British Journal of Sociology
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001

Keywords

  • religion
  • nature
  • Britain
  • environment
  • Christian
  • ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN
  • KNOWLEDGE
  • GENDER

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