Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on ReligionInstitute for Studies of Relgion
IJRR :: 2007 Volume 3 :: Article 1
2007 Volume 3, Article 1
Religion and Philanthropic Giving and Volunteering: Building Blocks for Civic Responsibility

Author: Stephen V. Monsma (The Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics)

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This article systematizes the findings of previous studies of religion and philanthropic giving and volunteering, contributes to the theoretical understanding of the role religion plays in philanthropic giving and volunteering, and relates the conjunction of religion and philanthropic giving and volunteering to a polity marked by democratic norms. It does so by reviewing the findings of previously published studies and using existing datasets to examine key questions for which earlier studies have had inconsistent findings or that they have not studied. It examines the social network and religious belief theories for explaining the conjunction between religion and philanthropic giving and volunteering and concludes that both help to explain this conjunction but that social network theory is the stronger explanatory theory. It also documents a positive relationship among religiosity, giving and volunteering, and other marks of civic responsibility and concludes that people who are marked by high levels of religiosity come closer to the democratic norm of civic responsibility than do those with low levels of religiosity.

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