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Faith in NumbersReligion, Sectarianism, and Democracy$
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Michael Hoffman

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197538012

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197538012.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 September 2021



Implications for Religion and Politics

(p.145) 7 Conclusion
Faith in Numbers

Michael Hoffman

Oxford University Press

This chapter concludes, placing these findings in the context of religion and political behavior broadly considered. It tests my theory in a large sample of countries using the World Values Survey. Cross-national tests indicate that the pattern described in the above cases is evident in much of the world: the general trend is that for small sects, communal prayer decreases support for democracy, while the opposite is true for large groups. Larger groups can expect to benefit from free elections due to their sheer size, so increased salience of sectarian identity---such as that created by communal worship---should promote democratic attitudes; the reverse logic holds for smaller groups, who would be unlikely to win elections. Finally, the chapter uses the suggestive evidence from the World Values Survey to describe some of the conditions under which this theory should---and should not---apply.

Keywords:   Religion, Comparative Politics, Democracy, Sectarianism, Theology, Political Behavior, Public Opinion

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