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Media Influences on Religious Financial Practices


Significant changes have occurred in the connection between religion and the media, particularly when it comes to the financial practices of religious organizations. The media, in all of its manifestations, has a significant impact on people’s perceptions, attitudes, and actions—including how they interact with religious, and financial practices. The literature review aims to examine the existing scholarly work on media influences on religious, and financial practices, specifically within the context of an active nondenominational community in the southeastern United States. The review will explore various facets related to the impact of nonreligious media consumption on individuals’ beliefs regarding the importance of tithing. Through an analysis of relevant studies, it aims to identify gaps in the research to propose an avenue for further investigation.

Media Consumption Patterns in Active Nondenominational Communities

According to research by Herliansyah et al. (2020), people who are involved in nondenominational communities, especially those in the Southeast of the United States—engage with a variety of nonreligious media. This research sheds light on patterns of media consumption. This covers movies, TV shows, social networking sites, internet streaming services, and other digital media. To evaluate its possible impact on religious, and financial views, it is essential to comprehend the sorts and prevalence of nonreligious media consumed in this group 

Theoretical Framework: Cultivation Theory and Belief Systems.

Research exploring media effects on individual beliefs and behaviours within religious contexts often draws upon theoretical frameworks like cultivation theory, agenda-setting theory, and social cognitive theory. Cultivation theory suggests that prolonged exposure to media shapes perceptions of reality, potentially influencing religious beliefs regarding financial practices. Agenda-setting theory examines the media’s role in prioritizing certain issues, possibly impacting the importance attributed to tithing within religious communities. The social cognitive theory emphasizes observational learning, positing that media portrayals of financial behaviours might influence individuals’ attitudes towards tithing. Cultivation theory, proposed by George Gerbner, suggests that long-term exposure to media content shapes individuals’ perceptions and beliefs. Applying this theory to religious, and financial practices, Elshahat, & Moffat,(2020). highlight how media exposure can influence belief systems regarding financial obligations within religious contexts. However, these studies primarily focus on general media effects and lack specificity concerning religious, and financial practices in the context of active nondenominational communities.

Linking Media Consumption and Beliefs in Tithing Importance

Studies have observed varying patterns of media consumption within religious communities. While some research emphasizes the prevalence of digital media usage among younger congregants in nondenominational churches, others highlight the coexistence of traditional and contemporary media consumption patterns among different age groups. Understanding these diverse media consumption patterns is crucial in gauging their potential influence on attitudes towards tithing. The proposed independent variable, hours of nonreligious media consumed weekly, is hypothesized to impact the dependent variable of self-reported beliefs in the importance of tithing. Limited scholarly research directly examines this specific relationship within the context of religious communities, especially active nondenominational ones in the southeastern United States. Studies exploring the direct influence of media consumption on attitudes toward tithing or financial obligations within religious frameworks are scant.

Research Gaps and Future Directions

Quantitative Examination of Media Consumption and Tithing Beliefs

The existing literature primarily focuses on qualitative analyses or broader media effects theories within religious contexts. More quantitative studies that empirically measure the relationship between nonreligious media consumption and beliefs in the importance of tithing among active nondenominational communities in the southeastern United States are needed. Conducting surveys or experiments to quantify these associations could offer more concrete insights into this specific relationship. Research examining the influence of nonreligious media on religious beliefs and practices is limited but growing. Studies outside the specific context of financial practices suggest that exposure to certain media content, such as worldly messages or secular values, might impact religious attitudes and behaviours. However, the direct connection between nonreligious media consumption and beliefs in the importance of tithing within active nondenominational communities in the southeastern United States still needs to be explored.

Mediating Factors and Moderators

Potential mediating or moderating factors that could affect the link between media consumption and views about the significance of tithing should be investigated through research. Religious participation, socioeconomic level, and media content are a few examples of factors that may have a big impact on how people feel about financial practices in their religious group. Gaining insight into these variables may help one comprehend the link in a more complex way.

Longitudinal Studies and Causal Relationships.

The majority of existing studies focus on correlational relationships between media consumption and beliefs in religious, and financial practices. Longitudinal studies are essential to establish causal relationships and track changes in individuals’ attitudes over time. Examining how changes in media consumption patterns affect beliefs regarding tithing importance longitudinally would provide clearer insights into causality.


In conclusion, research on the direct effects of nonreligious media consumption on beliefs about the significance of tithing within vibrant nondenominational communities in the Southeast of the United States is conspicuously lacking, despite the fact that extant scholarship recognizes the potential influence of media on religious beliefs and practices. Future studies should concentrate on quantitative studies, investigate mediating factors, and carry out longitudinal analysis to demonstrate causal linkages in order to close this gap. By delving into these unexplored areas, scholars can provide a more comprehensive understanding of how media influences financial beliefs within specific religious contexts, aiding both practitioners and researchers. Conducting empirical studies would contribute significantly to filling the existing gap in understanding the direct influence of media consumption on attitudes toward tithing in such religious communities.


Herliansyah, Y., Nugroho, L., Ardilla, D., & Putra, Y. (2020, February). The Determinants of Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSME) Become Customers of Islamic Banks (Religion, Religiosity and Location of Islamic Banks). In ACEBISS 2019: Proceedings of the First Annual Conference of Economics, Business, and Social Science, ACEBISS 2019, 26-30 March, Jakarta, Indonesia (p. 128). European Alliance for Innovation.

Elshahat, S., & Moffat, T. (2020). Dietary practices among Arabic-speaking immigrants and refugees in Western societies: A scoping review. Appetite154, 104753.

Hill, J. (2020). Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing: A balanced analysis of the theory and practice of a sustainable portfolio. Academic Press.

Jamali, D., Jain, T., Samara, G., & Zoghbi, E. (2020). How institutions affect CSR practices in the Middle East and North Africa: A critical review. Journal of World Business55(5), 101127.

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Buchanan, T. (2020). Why do people spread false information online? The effects of message and viewer characteristics on self-reported likelihood of sharing social media disinformation. Plos one15(10), e0239666.

Schmid, R., & Petko, D. (2019). Does the use of educational technology in personalized learning environments correlate with self-reported digital skills and beliefs of secondary-school students?. Computers & education136, 75-86.


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