The Importance of Religiosity in the Formation of Populist Attitudes: the Case of Poland

Agnieska Turska-Kawa, Waldemar Wojtasik


The source literature shows two trends in research on social consequences of religious engagement. On the one hand, researchers argue that religiosity strengthens social competence and the mechanisms of communal activity; on the other hand, many studies show that religious activity reduces the level of social capital. The study presented in this article is an attempt of search for links between religiosity and populist attitudes. The concept of populism used in the study refers to an individual’s social functioning and their perception of the sphere of politics. The search for the directions of correlation of populist attitudes and religiosity was based on an attempt to identify types of people with different (but internally homogeneous) relationships between the key variables. We found three homogeneous clusters and named them with reference to the elements prevailing in each one: religiousmoderate, and populist. The analysis showed that religiosity is not a moderator of creating populist attitudes in Poland. To the contrary, by co-occurring with lower levels of populism, religiosity may serve as a kind of umbrella protecting people from populist attitudes. Our analysis supports the views of researchers who argue that religiosity is related to the pro-social element.


religion, religiosity, populism, thin-ideological concept of populism, Catholic Church.

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