Numerous studies have documented the importance of religion, and especially of religious congregational attendance, in regard to volunteering. Most of these studies focus on individual and contextual factors, usually within one country. Recent studies suggest that the association between religious attendance and volunteering varies among countries. We hypothesize that national culture plays an important role in explaining volunteering mainly as a moderator of the relationship between religious attendance and volunteering, especially on volunteering to help people in need. To support this position, we used individual-level data from the World Values Survey (WVS) coupled with national data on cultural measures. This enabled assessment of these relationships using a multilevel analysis of individuals nested in countries. We used two models of national culture, Hofstede (1984) and WVS to explain the differences between countries. We found direct relationships between national culture constructs (power distance and survival/self-expression values) and volunteering. We also found that individualism, power distance, and survival/self-expression values moderated the effect of religion on volunteering, with a stronger relationship between religious attendance and volunteering in nationalities with self-expression values, high power distance, and low individualism. Theoretical and practical implications of this approach are discussed.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
- national culture
- religious attendance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Religious studies