Church Attendance, Implicit Religion and Belief in Luck

The relationship between conventional religiosity and alternative spirituality among adolescents


  • Leslie J. Francis Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick
  • Emyr Williams Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick
  • Mandy Robbins Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick



Implicit religion, church attendance, religious beliefs


This study was designed to examine the complex pattern of relationships between conventional religious practice (in the sense of church attendance), implicit religion (in the sense of persisting Christian beliefs and values, unsupported by church attendance), and alternative spirituality (in the sense of non-conventional beliefs). In this context implicit religion was operationalized in terms of attitude toward the explicit religion of Christianity, and alternative spirituality was operationalized in terms of belief in luck. Data were provided by a sample of 1,133 13- to 15-year-old adolescents in South Wales who completed the Belief in Luck Index (BILI) and the Francis Scale of Attitude toward Christianity (FSAC), alongside information about frequency of church attendance. These data demonstrate that among non-churchgoers there is a significant positive correlation between attitude toward Christianity and belief in luck. Among churchgoers, however, these two variables were uncorrelated. These findings support the view that a general eclectic belief system is underpinning the spirituality of the unchurched rather than a widespread rejection of transcendence in favour of secularity.

Author Biographies

Leslie J. Francis, Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick

Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick

Emyr Williams, Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick

Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick

Mandy Robbins, Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick

Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick


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How to Cite

Francis, L. J., Williams, E., & Robbins, M. (2009). Church Attendance, Implicit Religion and Belief in Luck: The relationship between conventional religiosity and alternative spirituality among adolescents. Implicit Religion, 11(3), 239–254.




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