Political Behavior

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 643–663 | Cite as

Divine Intervention? The Influence of Religious Value Communication on U.S. Intervention Policy

  • Paul A. Djupe
  • Brian R. Calfano
Original Paper


Opinion about U.S. foreign intervention depends on both one’s belief about how the world works and those cognitively available value conceptions about how it should work. Consistent with social identity theory, we argue that values can shape social group boundaries and that these boundaries are analogous to the position of the U.S. in the world. Thus, the religious values we explore neatly map onto opinion about whether U.S. intervention should be qualified in its scope and rationale. In this investigation, we first provide experimental tests of religious value priming conducted on Christians, Muslims, and Jews. We then assess the degree to which American Protestant clergy communicate these values. The results of both investigations support the efficacy of considering the communication of religious values in shaping public opinion on U.S. foreign intervention.


Values Priming Religion and politics Foreign policy attitudes Clergy politics Experiments 



We wish to thank Phaik See Lim, Kris Kanthak, and Cathy Johnson for their assistance with this project, and David Barker, Jeff Kurtz, Dave Peterson, David Woodyard, and Ted Jelen for helpful suggestions along the way. We also thank the editors and the three anonymous reviewers for a very productive review process.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceDenison UniversityGranvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceMissouri State UniversitySpringfieldUSA

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