Cultural and religious values: a cross-cultural study in Austria, South Africa and Egypt

SOURCE: Journal of Psychology in Africa
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2007
TITLE AUTHOR(S): W.Renner, K.Myambo, K.Peltzer
KEYWORDS: AUSTRIA, CULTURAL DIVERSITY, EGYPT, PSYCHOLOGY, RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY, RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 4897

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Abstract

This article compares religious values found on the basis of the lexical approach in three cultures. Lists of human values in Austria (German), South Africa (Northern Sotho) and Egypt (Arabic) were compiled. These terms were rated by 456, 400 and 773 participants respectively as personal guiding motives in life. Factor analyses yielded orthogonal dimensions reflecting the specific values of each culture. In all three cases, a dimension pertaining to religious issues emerged. For Austria, a distinct dimension was found, which only comprised religious terms. In South Africa religious values were interrelated with mutual support, while in Egypt, religiosity was highly correlated with political concerns and Arabic nationalism. While only about 25% of the Austrian sample gave positive evaluations to religious values, most of the South African and Egyptian participants rated religiosity positively. Results suggest that religious values are ubiquitous and religious convictions are influenced by the ethical concepts in each culture.