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Religion and Politics in the Netherlands: A Causal Analysis

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An overview of the sociology of religion of the last few decades, shows that there is no consensus among social scientists as to the influence of religious beliefs on behaviour in other non-religious aspects of life. As a hypothesis the authors pose that traditional religion exerts a conservative influence on political convictions Next a theoretical model is described in which religion and politics are related via intermediate elements, which exists of value orientations and social-political beliefs. As an introduction to the results, the Lisrel-technique is briefly discussed, which is used as a statistical model of analysis. The hypothesis is tested on a 1979 national sample (N = 1007) in the Netherlands. The results show that, for people who attach great importance to religion, there is a causal chain from religion to politics which goes via the above mentioned intermediate stations.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology Catholic University of Nijmegen The Netherlands

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