Richard Traunmüller
Individual Religiosity, Religious Context, and the Creation of Social Trust in Germany

Schmollers Jahrbuch - Journal of Applied Social Science Studies , 2009: 129, Heft 2, S. 357-365
ISSN: 1439-121X; 1865-5742

This contribution examines the role of religion as source of social trust. Going beyond the scope of the existing literature, I jointly evaluate the effect of individual religiosity and regional religious context by means of multilevel analysis. The results suggest that there is a double positive effect of Protestantism: Not only do Protestants tend to be more trusting, but a Protestant context also increases one's trust – regardless of individual religious beliefs. Furthermore, while church attendance is a powerful predictor for social trust, a context effect for regional levels of devoutness could not be detected. Lastly, religious diversity is not shown to decrease social trust.