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Trust in God and Trust in Man: The Ambivalent Role of Religion in Shaping Dimensions of Social Trust

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We use data from the National Election Study (2000) to analyze relationships among measures of religious orientation and commitment and three aspects of social trust. Results from OLS and ordered logistic regression models indicate that individuals affiliated with specific denominations (e.g., Pentecostal and other Christian) tend to display significantly lower levels of certain types of social trust than members of mainline Protestant denominations, once a variety of controls have been applied. This pattern is reversed, however, among respondents who attend church more frequently and who report that religion provides them substantial guidance in their daily lives.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Notre Dame

Publication date: 2004-09-01

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