Library and Information Science
Religious beliefs have important and wide-reaching impacts on society. They also tend to be viewed as impervious to the influence of information external to a religious setting. Eight focus groups were held with attendees of two United Church of Christ congregations. Participants were asked about their core religious beliefs, and transcripts were qualitatively coded for the interplay of belief and infor- mation. Analysis found that beliefs that were focused on people, processes and events external to the congregation showed the char- acteristics of being more open to external information. Specifically, the breadth of these external beliefs allowed for a wider set of external information to be considered relevant; these beliefs were less biased, allowing participants to be more open to disconfirming information from outside the congregation; and these beliefs were held with less certainty, making it more likely that this disconfirming information would be attended to. This study provides suggestions for religious practitioners wishing to make the information beha- viour of their organisations more open.
Published in Journal of Information Science, Volume 44, Issue 3, 2017, pages 363-376.
© Journal of Information Science 2017, SAGE
Freeburg, D. (2017). The Openness of Religious Beliefs to the Influence of External Information. Journal Of Information Science, 44(3), 363-376.