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'To Whom Much Has Been Given...' Religious Capital and Community Voluntarism Among Churchgoing Protestants

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2000

Posted: 13 Apr 2011 Last revised: 25 Feb 2016

Jerry Z. Park

Baylor University

Christian Smith

Independent

Date Written: September 1, 2000

Abstract

Research on volunteering behavior has consistently found a positive relationship between religion and volunteering. Using a sample of churchgoing Protestants (N=1,738) from the Religious Identity and Influence Survey we examine the specific influences of religiosity, religious identity, religious socialization, and religious social networks on local volunteer activity in church programs and non-church organizations, as well as general volunteering tendencies. These influences are presented within the theoretical framework of religious capital. Logistic regression techniques were applied to determine the strength of the contribution of these influences by all measures to some degree, but religiosity (specifically participation in church activities) remains the strongest influence. Significant religious influences overall are most pronounced with the context of church-related volunteering which suggests that churchgoing Protestant exhibit a strong sense of community identity through their local churches. A discussion of these results and their implications for volunteering follows.

Keywords: volunteering, religion

Suggested Citation

Park, Jerry Z. and Smith, Christian, 'To Whom Much Has Been Given...' Religious Capital and Community Voluntarism Among Churchgoing Protestants (September 1, 2000). Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1807957

Jerry Z. Park (Contact Author)

Baylor University ( email )

One Bear Place #97326
Waco, TX 76798
United States

Christian Smith

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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