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Religion, Communication, and Social Capital
Unformatted Document Text:  Religion, Communication, and Social Capital --21-- direct positive link to newspaper reading holds up for mainline Protestants when measured as a total effect. More importantly, and in a key difference to evangelicals, the denominational culture of mainline Protestantism promotes directly political efficacy, political trust, and social trust. Other relationships Though a secondary focus of this paper, the importance of communication variables and other indicators of democratic citizenship as mediators between the associational and cognitive dimensions of religion and indicators of social capital are apparent from our results. Both newspaper reading and national television news viewing were positively related to political knowledge. Newspaper reading was directly and positively linked to both social trust and political trust. Both newspaper reading and national television news viewing had positive indirect effects through political knowledge on political efficacy and social trust. As previously noted, beyond these media effects, secular discussion networks and the diversity of political discussion networks had important positive effects. Secular discussion networks promoted both newspaper reading, and exposure to greater levels of discussion diversity. In turn, discussion diversity was linked positively both to political knowledge, and to national television news viewing. CONCLUSIONS The findings from our study raise important questions for how we define the relationship between religion and indicators of social capital. However, before we delve into these questions and their implications for the contemporary political landscape, it is necessary to look more closely at some of the more technical aspects of our study.

Authors: Nisbet, Matthew., Moy, Patricia. and Scheufele, Dietram.
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Religion, Communication, and Social Capital
--21--
direct positive link to newspaper reading holds up for mainline Protestants when measured as a
total effect. More importantly, and in a key difference to evangelicals, the denominational
culture of mainline Protestantism promotes directly political efficacy, political trust, and social
trust.
Other relationships
Though a secondary focus of this paper, the importance of communication variables and
other indicators of democratic citizenship as mediators between the associational and cognitive
dimensions of religion and indicators of social capital are apparent from our results. Both
newspaper reading and national television news viewing were positively related to political
knowledge. Newspaper reading was directly and positively linked to both social trust and
political trust. Both newspaper reading and national television news viewing had positive
indirect effects through political knowledge on political efficacy and social trust. As previously
noted, beyond these media effects, secular discussion networks and the diversity of political
discussion networks had important positive effects. Secular discussion networks promoted both
newspaper reading, and exposure to greater levels of discussion diversity. In turn, discussion
diversity was linked positively both to political knowledge, and to national television news
viewing.
CONCLUSIONS
The findings from our study raise important questions for how we define the relationship
between religion and indicators of social capital. However, before we delve into these questions
and their implications for the contemporary political landscape, it is necessary to look more
closely at some of the more technical aspects of our study.


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