Scholars have grappled with how religion in the United States shapes attitudes toward racial inequality, often by focusing on racial inequality as out-group disadvantage.
The current study extends this research by moving beyond racial inequality as out-group disadvantage to examine how religious conservatism and sanctification of social justice (i.e., attributing spiritual or religious significance to working for social justice) are associated with attitudes toward racial in-group advantage: white privilege.
Using canonical correlation analysis with 475 white Catholic and Protestant students, results showed religious beliefs and white privilege attitudes were connected in two ways:
- sanctification of social justice was positively associated with a dimension defined by greater willingness to confront white privilege and greater white privilege remorse and awareness and
- religious conservatism was negatively associated with a dimension defined by greater awareness of white privilege.
Nathan R. Todd, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign, 603 East Daniel Street, Champaign, IL 61820, USA. Email:
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