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Religiosity and dogmatism

By Nicholas C. DiDonato

We’ve all seen it: religious extremists with signs protesting a seemingly innocuous event. Or perhaps hardcore believers dogmatically arguing with someone about religion. But are these diehards really more dogmatic and less open-minded than others? Does this common perception have any basis? In fact, the answer appears to be a qualified yes – research conducted more than thirty years ago suggests that the indiscriminately antireligious are, indeed, more open-minded than the religious.

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Liberal Buddhism: exploring the boundaries

By Connor Wood

In Europe and North America, most religious people are Christian. This means that debates between theological liberals and conservatives in these countries are often about things like the divinity of Christ, the validity of other world religions, and the existence of Hell. But the Spectrums project team has been researching patterns in ideology that transcend just the Christian tradition, and contemporary Buddhism offers a powerful example of how conservative/liberal differences play out in non-Christian faiths. A series of innovative websites on Buddhist culture and secularism demonstrates exactly how.

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How we pray

By Nicholas C. DiDonato

Most have long recognized that political liberals and conservatives have different outlooks on life. More precisely, research indicates that liberals tend to emphasize provision and conservatives tend to emphasize protection. Naturally, psychologists Kathrin Hanek (University of Michigan), Bradley Olson (National Louis University), and Dan McAdams (Northwestern University) wanted to see if these preferences would emerge in prayer. Much to their surprise, they found that while liberals’ prayers did in fact stress provision more than conservatives’, the prayers of both liberals and conservatives laid equal emphasis on protection.

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