Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on ReligionInstitute for Studies of Relgion
IJRR :: 2014 Volume 10 :: Article 8
2014 Volume 10, Article 8
Religious Tradition and Involvement in Congregational Activities That Focus on the Community

Author: Jennifer M. McClure (Pennsylvania State University)

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Many studies that have examined the relationship between religion and community involvement have indicated that religious people are more likely than nonreligious people to be involved in the community. However, these studies fail to explain why some attenders of religious congregations are involved in the community while other attenders are not and how religious congregations can promote community involvement. This study begins to address these questions, using data from the 2008/2009 U.S. Congregational Life Survey. Using a unique measure of community involvement, that is, involvement in congregational activities that focus on the community, this study examines how involvement in these activities varies among religious traditions. Results suggest that religious tradition matters for understanding why some attenders are involved in these activities while other attenders are not and that religious tradition does not always correlate with involvement in these activities in a way that is similar to how it correlates with involvement in community organizations. These activities are an important venue through which congregations can promote community involvement.

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