Burge, Ryan P. and Paul A. Djupe
Burge, Ryan P., and Paul A. Djupe. 2021. “Religious Authority in a Democratic Society: Clergy and Citizen Evidence from a New Measure.” Politics and Religion: 1–28. doi: 10.1017/S1755048321000031.
Publication year: 2021

A persistent concern for democratic theorists is the degree to which religious authority trumps democratic authority. This is often assessed using generic measures of religiosity or religious beliefs ill-suited to the task. Moreover, while religion is linked to dogmatism and authoritarianism, this begs the question how much influence religion has independent of psychological dispositions. We attempt to add to these debates with a new measure of religious authority. We draw on data gathered from three samples—a sample of Christian clergy from 2014, a national sample of 1,000 Americans from Spring 2016, and a national sample of 1,010 Protestants from 2019. We examine the distribution of the religious authority measure and then compare its effects of the measure in the context of authoritarian child-rearing values, deliberative values, and democratic norms. The results indicate religious authority values represent a distinct measurement of how people connect to religion in politically salient ways.