Religious orientation, mysticism, and the anthropocentric worldview

Charles Edward Snodgrass


The construct of anthropocentrism may be described as a set of ideals, or worldview, in which the individual perceives humanity as superior to the natural environment, and to other species within nature. Chandler and Dreger (1993) have introduced the Anthropocentrism Scale as a means by which researchers may measure anthropocentric beliefs among individuals. Although Chandler and Dreger report there to be no significant correlation between anthropocentrism and religion, this was explored further (Snodgrass & Gates, 1998) and significant correlations were found between anthropocentrism and doctrinal orthodoxy (Batson, 1976), religious orientation (Allport & Ross, 1967), and quest (Batson 1976). In the present study, similar findings were observed within a sample of 277 undergraduate volunteers. Hood's (1976) M-scale was added as measure of mysticism, and Batson's measure of doctrinal orthodoxy was replaced with McFarland's (1989) Fundamentalism Scale. Bivariate correlations and standard regression analyses were performed, yielding results that place religion within the network of constructs related to anthropocentrism.