‘Greening of Christianity’? Not yet

Have Christians become more environmentally-conscious? A new study in Organization & Environment finds little evidence for that claim: According to a recent survey, Christians still aren’t as green as their non-Christian counterparts.

The authors note that over the last couple of decades, “many observers claim there has been a ‘greening of Christianity’ in the United States.” Some religious leaders have promoted the idea that Christian values and environmental stewardship go hand-in-hand. Others have urged constituents to save energy and reduce waste.

What’s not clear is whether “rank and file” Christians have heeded those suggestions. So the study authors analyzed the results of a 2010 survey of 1,430 people in the U.S. Participants were asked questions such as how much of a danger air pollution presented to the environment, whether they would pay more to protect the Earth, and how often they tried to reduce their driving or save water.

People who were not religious or who were affiliated with a non-Christian religion reported greener attitudes and behaviors than Christians did, the researchers report. “The upshot of these findings is that we found no clear evidence of a green Christianity among rank-and-file Christians in the general public,” the authors write. Roberta Kwok | 26 July 2013

Source: Clements, J.M., A.M. McCright, and C. Xiao. 2013. Green Christians? An empirical examination of environmental concern within the U.S. general public. Organization & Environment doi: 10.1177/1086026613495475.

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