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PSYCHOSOCIAL- AND MEANING-MAKING FUNCTIONS OF PRAYER IN THE EVERYDAY LIFE OF MUSLIMS IN SWEDEN: – A study in the field of psychology of religion.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, The Social Sciences of Religion, Psychology of Religions.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In the psychology of religion, prayer is one area which has received relatively small attention in the past. In the case of Muslim prayer, with a few exceptions, the field is yet to be explored. This convergent parallel mixed-methods study examined the relationship of Muslim prayer acts and perceived psychosocial functions and meaning-making functions. The data was gathered using semi-constructed interviews as well as standardized instruments: Brief RCOPE, Sense of Coherence (SoC) and CD-RISC 2 resilience scale. The participants consisted of twelve males and four females currently residing in the central parts of Sweden. Focus was placed on the five daily prayers (Ṣalāt), the supplication prayer (Duʿāʾ) as well as the constant reminder of God (Dhikr). The theoretical parts focused mainly on meaning-making, coping, and ritual theory. The research question of this study was: “What role or roles do Muslim rituals, with a focus on prayer, have in the psychosocial functions and meaning-making functions in everyday life?”. For the Brief RCOPE questionnaire, the results included relatively high scores for positive coping and relatively low scores for negative coping (Positive Coping max: 28,00; min: 20,00; average: 23,75; range: 8,00. Negative Coping max: 15,00; min: 7,00, average: 10,19; range: 8,00. Religious coping on a general level max: 1,00; min 2,00, average: 1,06; range: 1,00). For the Sense of Coherence (SoC) scale, the results included different scores, in total medium to low (max: 75,00; min: 44,00; average: 56,00; range: 31,00). In the case of CD-RISC 2 resilience scale, the results were diverse with both high and low scores (max: 8,00; min: 3,00; average: 5,56; range: 5,00). From the interviews, several findings emerged including the centrality of prayer in the informant’s lives. Meaning-making emerged as a central part concerning all forms of prayer. The Muslim identity was also seen as absolutely central in their life. When performing prayers in line with the informants’ own theological understanding, this produced very positive feelings. When not performing the prayers, this resulted in negative feelings and anxiety. The latter also related to a more or less constant stress of not being a good enough Muslim and therefore ending up in Hell after death for most of the informants. The religious community was seen as very positive since many of the informants struggled with what they thought of as Un-Islamic values and behaviors present in the surrounding society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 149
Keywords [en]
Islam, prayer, psychosocial functions, meaning-making functions, psychology of religion
National Category
Religious Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-336778OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-336778DiVA, id: diva2:1166993
Subject / course
History of Religion and Social Sciences of Religion
Educational program
Master Programme in Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-01-19 Created: 2017-12-17 Last updated: 2018-01-19Bibliographically approved

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Langby, Martin (2017) Psychosocial- and Meaning-making Functions of Prayer in the Everyday Life of Muslims in Sweden(3273 kB)45 downloads
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