In the world but not of the world: religiosity, alienation, and philosophy of human nature among Bible college and liberal arts college students

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1988
Authors
Huffman, Terry
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Altmetrics
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Research Projects
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Abstract

This study attempts to investigate the relationship between religiosity, alienation, and philosophy of human nature using a sample of students enrolled in a fundamental Bible college and students enrolled in a liberal arts college. Two additional preceding variables, socioeconomic status and religious socialization were included in the model as they were assumed to influence levels of alienation and religiosity respectively;The theoretical model suggested that higher levels of religiosity would be related to lower levels of personal alienation. Furthermore, as conservative, fundamental Christianity was of interest with its particular theological orientation (i.e., the belief in original sin), it was hypothesized that religiosity would be related to a cynical view of human nature as opposed to a more optimistic view;The theoretical model generated five general hypotheses. Of these five, three hypotheses were supported by the data: (1) Religious socialization will be positively related to religiosity. (2) Religiosity will be inversely related to alienation. (3) Religiosity will be inversely related to the belief in goodness as philosophy of human nature and positively related to cynicism as philosophy of human nature;The two hypotheses which were not supported by the data were: (1) Socioeconomic status will be inversely related to alienation. (2) Alienation will be inversely related to the belief in goodness as philosophy of human nature and positively related to cynicism as philosophy of human nature;Major findings out of the research are the documentation that religiosity is inversely related to alienation while, somewhat ironically, positively related to a cynical view of human nature. Also, contrary to traditional functionalist theory, socioeconomic status was not found to be a determiner of individual social psychological alienation.

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Sociology and anthropology, Sociology
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