Research Abstract

Degelman, D., Mullen, P., & Mullen, N. (1986). Development of abstract religious thinking: A comparison of Roman Catholic and Nazarene youth. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 3, 44-49.

The development of religious thinking and its relationship to a literal understanding of the Bible was explored using the instrument Thinking About the Bible. Students from two populations, Roman Catholic and Nazarene, and ten grade levels, grade three through grade twelve, listened and responded to three Bible stories. Results indicated that abstract religious thinking increased over the grade levels studied and that Roman Catholic students utilized more abstract responses than Nazarene students, particularly at higher grade levels. Literalism appeared to be largely independent of abstract religious thinking. Implications of the observed differences are discussed.