• Religious Motivation and the Democratic Citizen

      Arceneaux, Kevin; Kolodny, Robin, 1964-; Crawford, Nyron; Margolis, Michele F. (Temple University. Libraries, 2015)
      There has been both praise and vilification of religion's role in shaping democratic citizens. By focusing on individual differences, religious motivations can help explain the complex relationship between religion and good citizenship, especially concerning the important topics of political engagement and prejudice. This dissertation will demonstrate that in order to understand the connection between religion and democratic citizenship, we must consider people's religious motivations. We must go beyond traditional approaches that only consider people's beliefs and behaviors. Religious motivation is a powerful measurement tool providing a richer framework than traditional measures of religiosity when answering a variety of questions regarding democratic citizenship. It is also a unique measure of individual difference with independent effects going beyond measures of personality, open-mindedness, ideology, and religiosity. The goal of this dissertation is twofold. First, it will establish religious motivation as an important measure that can greatly aid our understanding of the relationship between religion and democratic citizenship. Second, this dissertation will demonstrate how religious motivation can clarify religion's relationship with two specific measures of democratic citizenship: prejudice and political engagement. To meet these goals, this dissertation employs nationally representative surveys including a unique survey-experiment to provide evidence of religious motivations' important explanatory power. The findings suggest it is not what religious service you attend, or even how often you attend, but the motivation for being religious that best explains the level of political engagement and prejudice.