Secular values, religious beliefs and civil life: A comparative analysis of helping values and behaviour

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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  • University of Manchester


Help and helping is vital to the functioning of civil society. In this chapter we consider the extent to which religion is associated with people's orientation to, and participation in, civil society and how religious populations compare with secular populations. Our analysis suggests that overall there is a gap amongst all populations in the extent to which it is seen as important to help other people and the extent to which people report actually helping in practice. People who attend religious services regularly are the most likely to state that they think helping other people is important and also to state that they actually help people in practice. The levels of civil involvement amongst secular populations, in the form of helping other people, are higher than those who belong to a religion but are not regular attenders of religious services. The roles that religious and secular populations can play in the culture of helping are an important research and policy focus.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReligion and Civil Society in Europe
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014

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