Original Paper

Political Behavior

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 327-348

First online:

Rethinking the Relationship between Religion and Political Tolerance in the US

  • Marie A. EisensteinAffiliated withSchool of Public and Environmental Affairs – Political Science, Indiana University Northwest Email author 

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While there has been numerous empirical works on political tolerance in the United States, many of these studies have not: addressed the role of religion, used adequate measures of religion, incorporated advances in the measurement of political tolerance, and/or included all the psychological and political predictors of political tolerance. Correcting these deficiencies, I present and test a religious model of political tolerance utilizing structural equation modeling. I find that the negative relationship typically demonstrated between both religious commitment and doctrinal orthodoxy to political tolerance does not manifest and that religion is insignificant vis-à-vis political and psychological determinants of political tolerance.


Political tolerance Religion Religious commitment Doctrinal orthodoxy