On the links between perceptions of desecration and prejudice toward religious and social groups: A review of an emerging line of inquiry

Hisham Abu-Raiya, Kenneth I. Pargament, Annette Mahoney, Kelly Trevino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

With the introduction of a theory of spirituality, a new line of research has emerged that can facilitate a more in-depth understanding of religion and prejudice. Central to this line of research is the concept of desecration, or perceived violations of what the individual holds sacred. Empirical studies of desecration have consistently shown that appraisals of desecrations predict prejudice even after partialling out traditional religiously-based predictors of prejudice (e.g., fundamentalism, particularism). Studies have also indicated that the impact of desecration on prejudice may be affected by several spiritual coping factors that may mitigate (e.g., compassion, exposure to the core values and teachings of other groups) or exacerbate (e.g., demonizing others, believing others are being punished by God) these effects. Research and theory on spirituality, sanctification, desecration and spiritual coping more generally, can help researchers and society gain a deeper appreciation of how specific religious beliefs and behaviors significantly intensify or ameliorate prejudice towards social subgroups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-482
Number of pages28
JournalImplicit Religion
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

Keywords

  • Desecration
  • Prejudice
  • Sanctification
  • Spiritual coping
  • Spiritual theory

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