Political Science Publications

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Social Science Quarterly

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Objective In order to understand the role of clergy in shaping Americans’ moral worldviews, we examine whether the structure of clergy values varies in systematic ways according to contextual factors, such as disagreement in the congregation. Method In early 2014 (February), clergy from a variety of Protestant denominations were contacted by email and invited to complete a survey online, which included a 20-item moral foundations (MFs) battery as well as a variety of attitudinal, behavioral, and relational measures. Results Clergy MFs resemble average citizens’, they look to preserve their autonomy by emphasizing individualizing foundations when they are in disagreement with their congregation, and emphasize MFs that align with their religious beliefs, especially their views on religious authority. Conclusion We reject a special religious emphasis on binding foundations. While clergy take moral positions that reflect their theological commitments, we find evidence of contextualizing in how they weight moral positions.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Citation of this paper:

Djupe, P. A., & Friesen, A. (2017). Moralizing to the Choir: The Moral Foundations of American Clergy. Social Science Quarterly, n/a-n/a. https://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12455

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