Religion as culture: Religious individualism and collectivism among American catholics, jews, and protestants

Adam Cohen, Peter C. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

149 Scopus citations

Abstract

We propose the theory that religious cultures vary in individualistic and collectivistic aspects of religiousness and spirituality. Study 1 showed that religion for Jews is about community and biological descent but about personal beliefs for Protestants. Intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity were intercorrelated and endorsed differently by Jews, Catholics, and Protestants in a pattern that supports the theory that intrinsic religiosity relates to personal religion, whereas extrinsic religiosity stresses community and ritual (Studies 2 and 3). Important life experiences were likely to be social for Jews but focused on God for Protestants, with Catholics in between (Study 4). We conclude with three perspectives in understanding the complex relationships between religion and culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-742
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of personality
Volume75
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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