Religious Attitudes and Behaviors Toward Individuals Who Hold Different Religious Beliefs and Perspectives: An Exploratory Qualitative Study

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Abstract

This exploratory qualitative study examined how individuals’ religious beliefs and values influence how they engage with individuals who have different religious views. Graduate students in their first year at Christian seminaries (N = 205) were asked to describe how their religious faith affects their attitudes and behaviors toward individuals with different religious beliefs and values. Respondents completed an open-ended item in an online survey, and 9 themes emerged: love and acceptance, evangelism, listen and learn, respect others’ beliefs, develop relationships, prayer, viewing others as lost, relational tension and distance, and distrust of others. Themes suggest a mix of positive and negative attitudes and behaviors toward those holding different religious beliefs. We conclude by discussing limitations and directions for future research.

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