two paragraphs to two ques about religion and Allport’s theory

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Gordon Allport realized that people who proclaim themselves to be religious are sometimes cruel and cold-hearted. So Allport explored various kinds of religious orientation to see whether he could untangle the “brotherhood and bigotry” that he found intertwined. The result has been an influential analysis of religious orientation and prejudice.

He predicted, and found, that people are less racially prejudiced if their religion is one in which they have accepted the religious teachings to give selflessly to others (“intrinsic religious orientation”). In contrast, people who see religion as a utilitarian means to improve their condition (“extrinsic religious orientation”) are often racially prejudiced. Allport extensively studied and wrote about the relationship between religion and prejudice as part of his theory.

  • How do you think religion contributes to prejudice or to the reduction of prejudice in the United States currently?
  • How do you think Allport’s theory could be applied to the current political climate in the United States?

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