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In recent years, the potential of religions for fostering more sustainable consumer behaviors on the part of their adherents has often been invoked. This article provides an overview of research on Christianity and ecologically conscious, socially conscious, and frugal consumer behaviors. Previous research has focused mainly on ecologically conscious consumer behavior, reporting mixed findings, depending on the religion measures that are used. In an extension to this body of work, a U.K.-based survey examining religious influences on socially conscious and frugal consumer behaviors is reported. Weak positive relationships between general religion measures (dispositional religiousness, spirituality, religious service attendance, and Christian identification) and both types of consumer behavior were obtained, suggesting that religion does indeed foster sustainable consumer behaviors, albeit marginally. However, attempts to distinguish among consumer behaviors by means of God concepts were largely unfruitful. Future research needs to investigate the influence of specific religious beliefs about consumerism, wealth, and social justice on consumer behavior. An increased focus on action research would also be valuable.


NCLS Research

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Journal Article

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