Racism and post critical belief: A new approach to an old problem

Bart Duriez, Dirk Hutsebaut & Fried Roggen

The purpose of the present study that was conducted in Flanders was to investigate the relationship between the religious social identity, racism and four religious dimensions. As a measure of the religious social identity, we used the ‘religion/spiritual life’-subscale, taken from the ‘commitment to social identity’-scale constructed by Jackson (1981). As a measure of racism, we used the relevant part of the ‘ethnocentrism’-scale constructed by Billiet & De Witte (1991). The religious dimensions were orthodoxy, external critique, historical awareness and relativism (Hutsebaut, Fontaine & Duriez, 1998). Results showed that the religious social identity in itself has become remarkably insufficient to predict racist opinions and that the religious dimensions are necessary intermediating variables. This shows that what is important is the way people deal with their ‘religion’ and the associated contents rather than their religious social identity.

Duriez, B., Hutsebaut, D., & Roggen, F. (1999). Racism and post critical belief. A new approach to an old problem. Journal of Empirical Theology, 12, 5-27.