Adolescent Religious Engagement and Democracy: A Comparison of Student Attitudes in Hong Kong and South Korea
Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education
Cheung Hin Wah Chris, Lee Chi-Kin John, Kerry John Kennedy, Kuang Xiaoxue

Although the development of Asia adolescents’ citizenship values has been widely discussed, limited attention has been paid for the role of religion in shaping those values. The possibility has been suggested that Asian religious contexts may be understood differently from those in the West and research findings in those contexts are not necessarily applicable to Asia. This study, therefore, sought to understand further the association between the religious engagement of Asian adolescents’ and democratic values. The results indicated that attitudes to equality were moderately influenced by an understanding of democracy while religious engagement showed small, negative or non-significant associations with equality. Students’ understanding of democracy did not mediate the effect of students’ religious engagement. These results provide further support for the view that in Asian contexts religious engagement may not necessarily provide a conductive environment for supporting traditional democratic values.

Dr. Cheung Hin Wah Chris
Postdoctoral-doctoral Fellow of Centre for Religious and Spirituality Education

Prof. Lee Chi-Kin John
Vice President (Academic) and Provost, Director of CRSE and UNESCO Chair in Regional Education Development and Lifelong Learning

Prof. Kerry John Kennedy
Advisor (Academic Development) of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Dr. Kuang Xiaoxue
Lecturer of School of Education (Normal School) of Dongguan University of Technology