Analysis of WVS data made by political scientists Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel asserts that there are two major dimensions of cross cultural variation in the world:
Traditional values versus Secular-rational values and Survival values versus Self-expression values. The global cultural map (below) shows how scores of societies are located on these two dimensions.
Moving upward on this map reflects the shift from Traditional values to Secular-rational and moving rightward reflects the shift from Survival values to Self–expression values.
Traditional values emphasize the importance of religion, parent-child ties, deference to authority and traditional family values. People who embrace these values also reject divorce, abortion, euthanasia and suicide. These societies have high levels of national pride and a nationalistic outlook.
Secular-rational values have the opposite preferences to the traditional values. These societies place less emphasis on religion, traditional family values and authority. Divorce, abortion, euthanasia and suicide are seen as relatively acceptable. (Suicide is not necessarily more common.)
Survival values place emphasis on economic and physical security. It is linked with a relatively ethnocentric outlook and low levels of trust and tolerance.
Self-expression values give high priority to environmental protection, growing tolerance of foreigners, gays and lesbians and gender equality, and rising demands for participation in decision-making in economic and political life.
In 1957, young Harvard-bred historian Timothy Smith, of the Church of the Nazarene, knocked a lot of us budding ordinary historians – secular, “mainstream,” and whatnot – off our library stools with his book Revivalism and Social Reform. We had been trained to look for the roots of American social Christianity in the liberal Protestant Social Gospel (post-1907) and progressive Catholicism (post-1919). Smith back-dated such movements by a half-century, to revivals around 1857, which, he argued, added concern for morality and ethics in the social order to the private-and-personal moral agenda of older evangelicalism. Having fought against dueling, profanity, Sunday mails, et cetera, these revivalists found new ways to address slavery, poverty, and inequality. Imperfect, they did chart a course. Continue reading “Martin Marty – Jim Wallis on Values and Morals”
Here are a few reviews:
” Jim Wallis argues persuasively that the financial crisis is also a moral crisis. A vivid storyteller and prophetic voice, he shows how the worship of markets has led us astray — and how repairing the economy requires a moral awakening and a new commitment to the common good. This wise and hopeful book points us toward a new economy and a more spiritually satisfying public life.” — Michael J. Sandel, professor of government at Harvard University and New York Times bestselling author of Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? Continue reading “Rediscovering Values – a new book by Jim Wallis”