Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Christ, Country, and Conspiracies? Christian Nationalism, Biblical Literalism, and Belief in Conspiracy Theories

Walker, B., & Vegter, A.
Journal for the Study of Religion
May 8, 2023.


When misinformation is rampant, “fake news” is rising, and conspiracy theories are widespread, social scientists have a vested interest in understanding who is most susceptible to these false narratives and why. Recent research suggests Christians are especially susceptible to belief in conspiracy theories in the United States, but scholars have yet to ascertain the role of religiopolitical identities and epistomological approaches, specifically Christian nationalism and biblical literalism, in generalized conspiracy thinking. Because Christian nationalists sense that the nation is under cultural threat and biblical literalism provides an alternative (often anti-elite) source of information, we predict that both will amplify conspiracy thinking. We find that Christian nationalism and biblical literalism independently predict conspiracy thinking, but that the effect of Christian nationalism increases with literalism. Our results point to the contingent effects of Christian nationalism and the need for the religious variables in understanding conspiracy thinking.


I could not find a free pdf.  Here is  summary.

The study's findings suggest that Christian nationalism and biblical literalism may be contributing factors to the rise of conspiracy theories in the United States. The study also suggests that efforts to address the problem of conspiracy theories may need to focus on addressing these underlying beliefs.

Here are some additional details from the study:
  • The study surveyed a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults.
  • The study found that 25% of Christian nationalists and 20% of biblical literalists believe in at least one conspiracy theory, compared to 12% of people who do not hold these beliefs.
  • The study found that the belief in conspiracy theories is amplified when people feel that their nation is under cultural threat. For example, Christian nationalists who believe that the nation is under cultural threat are more likely to believe that the government is hiding information about extraterrestrial life.