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A Multinational Perspective on the Relation Between Judeo-Christian Religious Beliefs and Attitudes of Environmental Concern

Drawing on a recent multinational survey of environmental attitudes and behaviors, we examined the relation between religious beliefs and environmental concern. Measures included the revised New Environmental Paradigm (NEP), Thompson and Barton’s ecocentrismand anthropocentrismscales, a 12-itemproenvironmental behavior scale, a measure of biblical literalism, and a measure of religious importance. Data are reported from 2,160 university students from Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, the United States, and Venezuela. The data revealed a consistent pattern across countries. Respondents who expressed more literal beliefs in the Bible scored significantly lower on the NEP, lower on ecocentric environmental concerns, and higher on anthropocentric environmental concerns. No significant relation was found between biblical literalism and self-reported proenvironmental behavior.

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