Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


American Religion and Support for the Use of Torture


Political Science


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Overview: We examine the foundations of American support for the use of torture on suspected terrorists, focusing primarily on American religious traditions and beliefs, contrasting these factors with the role of individual values. Abstract: In this paper, we assess how American religious traditions, beliefs, and behaviors affect support for the use of torture on suspected terrorists. We contrast the role of these factors with controls for threat and authoritarian values. Data are primarily drawn from the 2008 American National Election Studies (ANES) survey. We discuss the implications of the findings for prevailing theories of American religious influence on public opinion, as well as theories of individual values and polarization of American public opinion.

Conference Name

70th Annual MPSA Conference

Conference Location

Chicago, IL

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