Title

Religion and Attitudes Toward the Environment: A Comparison of Mormons and the General U.S. Population

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title

The Social Science Journal

Publication Date

2005

Publisher

Elsevier

Volume

42

Issue

1

First Page

25

Last Page

38

Abstract

Religion has been shown to influence attitudes toward an array of social issues. This manuscript focuses specifically on environmental issues, with empirical examination of the distinctiveness of contemporary Mormon environmental perspectives as contrasted with the general U.S. population. A belief in the importance of dominion over the environment is noted, by some, to be reflected in anti-environmental stance characterizing Mormon Culture Region political leaders and church members [Foltz, R. C. (2000). Mormon values and the Utah environment. Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion, 4, 1–19]. Yet, a set of highly regarded essays by a diverse group of Mormons, including some in church leadership positions, expresses strong personal commitments to environmental causes and point to Mormon teachings and doctrines promoting environmentalism (Williams, Smith, and Gibbs, 1998). We examine variation in environmental concern as expressed by Mormons in a local community survey undertaken in Logan, Utah, as contrasted with the nationally-representative General Social Survey (1993). We find substantial differences between Mormons and the national sample; While Mormons tended to express greater levels of environmental concern, they were less likely to have undertaken specific behaviors reflective of such concern.

DOI

10.1016/j.soscij.2004.11.003

Comments

Originally published by Elsevier. Publisher's PDF and HTML fulltext available through remote link.