Christian affiliation, Christian practice, and attitudes to religious diversity: A quantitative analysis among 13- to 15-year-old female students in the UK

Leslie J. Francis*, Alice Pyke, Gemma Penny

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Within the context of the "Young Peoples Attitudes to Religious Diversity" project at the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, this study examines the association between self-assigned Christian affiliation, self-reported Christian practice, and attitudes towards religious diversity among a sample of 5,748 13- to 15-year-old female students attending schools in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The two hypotheses being tested are that, among female students, nominal Christians do not differ in their attitudes towards religious diversity from unaffiliated students and that church attendance leads to less tolerance of other religious groups. The data partly support the first hypothesis but not the second. Churchgoing Christian female students are more interested in and more tolerant of other religious groups. The data also draw attention to the perceived importance of religious education in schools for shaping views on religion and on religious diversity among unaffiliated students, nominal Christians, and practising Christians. Both the Christian churches and religious education in school seem to have an important part to play in nurturing a tolerant and inclusive religiously diverse society in the UK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-263
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Contemporary Religion
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2015

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