Abstract

Abstract:

Both the Scriptures and the traditions of the Christian faith can be seen to promote animal welfare and, paradoxically, also to promote the idea of nonhuman animals existing only for human use. The result is that Christians can have mixed attitudes toward animals, and comparatively few Christians actively work toward improving animal welfare. It is possible that the behavior and activities of individual Christians reflect those values most strongly and frequently expressed in Christian liturgy and worship, which may be more limited than what is present in Scripture or the wider tradition. The psychological theory of reasoned action/planned behavior provides a model that can help explain how these values are translated into action. This article will report on the findings of a pilot study that explored the relationship between the style and content of Christian worship and behavior in related ethical areas and will focus on those results relating specifically to animal welfare. Statistically significant correlations were found between the inclusion (or in this case noninclusion) of animal welfare in church worship, private prayer, and related charitable giving. Participation in certain types of worship was predictive, either positively or negatively, for giving to animal welfare charities. Based on these results, this article explores the possible reasons why liturgy can have a strong influence in forming attitudes and shaping behavior and why some liturgical styles may be more influential than others.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-1267
Print ISSN
2156-5414
Pages
pp. 47-65
Launched on MUSE
2019-04-10
Open Access
No
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