Christian Fundamentalism and Support for Capital Punishment

Few public policy issues have inflamed passions as consistently and as strongly as the debate over capital punishment. Religious denominations have been deeply involved on both sides of the issue, drawing both on teachings and traditions of justice and on those that emphasize the dignity of human li...

Full description

Saved in:
Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of research in crime and delinquency
Main Author: Unnever, James D.
Contributors: Cullen, Francis T. (Author)
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
Published: 2006
In:Journal of research in crime and delinquency
Year: 2006, Volume: 43, Issue: 2, Pages: 169-197
Online Access: doi
Journals Online & Print:
Drawer...
Availability in Tübingen:Present in Tübingen.
IFK: In: Z 31
Check availability: HBZ Gateway
Keywords:
Description
Summary:Few public policy issues have inflamed passions as consistently and as strongly as the debate over capital punishment. Religious denominations have been deeply involved on both sides of the issue, drawing both on teachings and traditions of justice and on those that emphasize the dignity of human life. Scholarly researchers have investigated the role that religious beliefs play in shaping sentiments toward crime control policies, with a particular focus on the relationship between belonging to a Christian fundamentalist denomination and support for the death penalty. Researchers have reasoned that Christian fundamentalists should be more likely to support capital punishment than other more moderate denominations because they hold conservative religious beliefs that justify the use of the death penalty. Using 1998 data from the General Social Survey, the authors initially show that contrary to common views, Christian fundamentalist affiliation is unrelated to support for capital punishment. Subsequent analyses reveal, however, that this null relationship is not straightforward but complex: fundamentalists embrace certain religious beliefs and involvement that both increase and decrease punitiveness. The study thus suggests that understanding the impact of religion on crime control attitudes potentially requires disentangling countervailing effects of different features of religiosity. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR
ISSN:0022-4278