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Religions 2016, 7(5), 47; doi:10.3390/rel7050047

Climate Change, Politics and Religion: Australian Churchgoers’ Beliefs about Climate Change

1
NCLS Research, Australian Catholic University, North Sydney NSW 2059, Australia
2
CSIRO Land & Water and School of Social Sciences & Psychology, Western Sydney University, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Evan Berry
Received: 29 February 2016 / Revised: 28 April 2016 / Accepted: 28 April 2016 / Published: 5 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Nature in a Globalizing World)
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Abstract

A growing literature has sought to understand the relationships between religion, politics and views about climate change and climate change policy in the United States. However, little comparative research has been conducted in other countries. This study draws on data from the 2011 Australian National Church Life Survey to examine the beliefs of Australian churchgoers from some 20 denominations about climate change—whether or not it is real and whether it is caused by humans—and political factors that explain variation in these beliefs. Pentecostals, Baptist and Churches of Christ churchgoers, and people from the smallest Protestant denominations were less likely than other churchgoers to believe in anthropogenic climate change, and voting and hierarchical and individualistic views about society predicted beliefs. There was some evidence that these views function differently in relation to climate change beliefs depending on churchgoers’ degree of opposition to gay rights. These findings are of interest not only for the sake of international comparisons, but also in a context where Australia plays a role in international climate change politics that is disproportionate to its small population. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change beliefs; politics; cultural worldviews; religion; Christianity; churchgoing; Australia climate change beliefs; politics; cultural worldviews; religion; Christianity; churchgoing; Australia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Pepper, M.; Leonard, R. Climate Change, Politics and Religion: Australian Churchgoers’ Beliefs about Climate Change. Religions 2016, 7, 47.

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