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Changing Religiosity, Changing Politics? The Influence of “Belonging” and “Believing” on Political Attitudes in Switzerland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 March 2009

Sarah Nicolet
Affiliation:
University of Geneva
Anke Tresch
Affiliation:
University of Geneva
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Starting from theories of secularization and of religious individualization, we propose a two-dimensional typology of religiosity and test its impact on political attitudes. Unlike classic conceptions of religiosity used in political studies, our typology simultaneously accounts for an individual's sense of belonging to the church (institutional dimension) and his/her personal religious beliefs (spiritual dimension). Our analysis, based on data from the World Values Survey in Switzerland (1989–2007), shows two main results. First, next to evidence of religious decline, we also find evidence of religious change with an increase in the number of people who “believe without belonging.” Second, non-religious individuals and individuals who believe without belonging are significantly more permissive on issues of cultural liberalism than followers of institutionalized forms of religiosity.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association 2009

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