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The Paradoxical Religiosity Effect: Religion and Politics in Indonesia and the United States

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 August 2015

Nathanael Gratias Sumaktoyo*
Affiliation:
University of Notre Dame
Victor Ottati*
Affiliation:
Loyola University Chicago
Vinaya Untoro*
Affiliation:
Universitas Pancasila
*
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Nathanael Gratias Sumaktoyo, Department of Political Science, 217 O'Shaughnessy Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556. E-mail: nathanael.sumaktoyo@fulbrightmail.org; or Victor Ottati, Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, 1032 W Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60660. E-mail: vottati@luc.edu; or Vinaya Untoro, Fakultas Psikologi, Universitas Pancasila, Jagakarsa, Jakarta Selatan 12640, Indonesia.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Nathanael Gratias Sumaktoyo, Department of Political Science, 217 O'Shaughnessy Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556. E-mail: nathanael.sumaktoyo@fulbrightmail.org; or Victor Ottati, Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, 1032 W Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60660. E-mail: vottati@luc.edu; or Vinaya Untoro, Fakultas Psikologi, Universitas Pancasila, Jagakarsa, Jakarta Selatan 12640, Indonesia.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Nathanael Gratias Sumaktoyo, Department of Political Science, 217 O'Shaughnessy Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556. E-mail: nathanael.sumaktoyo@fulbrightmail.org; or Victor Ottati, Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, 1032 W Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60660. E-mail: vottati@luc.edu; or Vinaya Untoro, Fakultas Psikologi, Universitas Pancasila, Jagakarsa, Jakarta Selatan 12640, Indonesia.

Abstract

We argue that personal religiosity and political religiosity are distinct attributes of a political candidate. Personal religiosity reflects a candidate's level of personal religious commitment and political religiosity reflects the candidate's policy regarding separating versus blending religion and politics. The paradoxical religiosity hypothesis predicts that, within a democracy, personal religiosity will increase voters' endorsement of a candidate whereas political religiosity will decrease voters' endorsement. We test this hypothesis comparatively in two experiments, one performed within a long-standing democracy containing predominantly Christian voters (the United States), and the other within a more recent democracy containing predominantly Muslim voters (Indonesia). We demonstrate the robustness of the paradoxical religiosity effect and its persistence across the two countries, suggesting that Muslim Indonesians are no less capable than Christian Americans in separating the sacred and the secular.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association 2015 

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