Religion and Values: A Review of Empirical Research
Empirical research concerned with the relationship between religion and values demonstrates the ability of both religion and values to shape attitudes, behaviours and perceptions of the world. The aim of this chapter is to draw together empirical research which examines how the association between religion and values impacts on the lives of individuals. The first and second parts of this chapter consider how the constructs of values and religion have been conceptualised and assessed. The third part of this chapter focuses on empirical studies that demonstrate the relationship between self-assigned religious affiliation and values, and self-reported church attendance and values. These studies examine the differences in values profiles associated with a number of Christian denominations and a range of faith groups. Collectively, the findings of this study demonstrate that self-assigned religious affiliation and self-reported church attendance function as socially significant indicators of individual differences in values. This adds weight to the argument that indicators of religiosity must be considered independently if future research concerning religion and values is to be as accurate as possible.