This study investigated how Christian beliefs and the perceived importance of practice at each level of the religious systems model may impact Protestant Christian beliefs about natural disasters and natural disaster responses. This study was conducted to address diverging trends in religious interpretations of and reactions to risk and crisis events. Participants answered a series of close- and open-ended questions via on online survey about religious beliefs and practices and their personal experiences with natural disasters and responses. Qualitative findings demonstrated an overarching Christian ethic underlying participants' experiences and responses. Most comments from participants mentioned individual and micro level actions they took during the natural disasters they experienced. Quantitative results supported these relationship between each level of the religious systems model and Christian beliefs about natural disasters and perceived importance of natural disaster responses (spiritual and action-oriented). The individual level significantly predicted Christian-based spiritual natural disaster responses. The micro and meso levels significantly predicted Christian beliefs about natural disasters and Christian-based spiritual natural disaster responses. The macro level significantly predicted Christian-based action-oriented natural disaster responses. This study expands Williams-Smith and McMillan's (2022) religious systems model by extending the context to natural disasters and how each system level relates to perceptions about them.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Nicholson School of Communication and Media
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Taylor, Lakelyn, "Christian Perspectives on Natural Disasters Using a Religious Systems Approach" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1678.
Restricted to the UCF community until May 2024; it will then be open access.