Religions Special Issue

Special issue on: Cross-cultural approaches to studying the intersections of religiosity, spirituality, and moral values with generous orientations, philanthropic participation, and civic engagement.

If you are interested in submitting a manuscript for consideration in this Special Issue, please email the guest editor by January 15, 2020 with a title and abstract (email:, subject: Religions abstract). 

Full papers are due by April 15, 2020.

This Special Issue aims to advance cross-cultural approaches to studying the intersections of religiosity, spirituality, and moral values with generous orientations, philanthropic participation, and civic engagement. The purpose is to better understand whether and how religious engagement contributes to acting generously across cultural contexts. In particular, the issue will focus on these understudied world regions: Asia (especially East, Southeast, and South Asia), the Middle East and Turkey, Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands. The science and imagination of generosity and religiosity are flourishing. Yet, the field lacks valuable integration of these topics, and global studies with cross-cultural comparisons need further advancement. Scholars continue to refine theories and methods for studying each topic individually, but these are under-tested across cultures, and their intersections are understudied.

For example, the Religious Schema Scale was constructed by Streib, Hood, and Klein (2010) but as yet has only been tested in the United States and Germany. Another example of a well-developed set of measures is based upon attachment to God theory, as constructed and investigated by Manglos-Weber, Mooney, Bollen, and Roos (2016). However, thus far, these measures have only been tested in the United States. Alternatively, the Centrality of Religion Scale was developed by Huber and Huber (2012) and has been tested in 25 countries, translated into 20 languages, and studied with more than 100,000 participants. However, this scale has not yet been studied along with measures of generosity and philanthropic participation. With regard to moral values, the World Values Survey is one of the most well-known social scientific surveys for studying values across the globe and collects data from almost 100 countries containing 90 percent of the world’s population. However, the WVS has its critics (e.g., Abramson 2011; Lundgren 2015), most notably concerns that the questionnaires were developed in Western societies and then translated to include other nations (Kotzé and Lombard 2003; Inglehart 2008; Taonui 2016).

Similarly, numerous studies measure the rates of philanthropic participation globally. For example, the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Prosperity (2006) developed a set of Global Philanthropy Indices to compare philanthropic activities across 79 countries, employing a standard instrument that was developed with the input of several country-based experts. However, these indices focus on macro-level national contexts rather than cultural values and norms and also do not include measures of religiosity. Moreover, the Science of Generosity Initiative supported projects that collected data on generosity in at least 27 countries, including the United States, India, Israel, Japan, the Honduras, Tanzania, Turkey, Canada, England, Wales, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and many other countries in Europe, which resulted in at least 45 peer-reviewed publications spanning the disciplines of sociology, psychology, economics, political science, psychiatry, international relations, medicine, neuroscience, anthropology, biobehavioral health, business, education, family consumer and human development, history, public administration, public affairs, public policy, religion, and social work. However, the world regions identified for this Special Issue remain understudied.

This Special Issue invites articles that address the topics of religiosity, spirituality, moral values, generosity, philanthropy, or civic engagement, including life course development. We are particularly interested in literature reviews, concept papers, and empirical investigations that pursue the intersection of these topics, as well as those that focus on cross-cultural studies of these world regions: Asia (East, Southeast, and South Asia), the Middle East and Turkey, Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, or the Pacific Islands.

Dr. Patricia Snell Herzog
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


·       Generosity

·       Philanthropy

·       Religiosity

·       Spirituality

·       Moral values

·       Youth and emerging adults

·       Cross-cultural studies