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Religious Identity, Mystical Experience, and Psychopathology: A Study among Secular, Christian, and Muslim Youth in England and Wales

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses two research questions among three samples of 14- to 18-year-old students: Muslim, Christian, and religiously unaffiliated young people in England and Wales. The first question examined the comparative extent to which the religiously unaffiliated reported mystical experience. The second question examined the association between mystical experience and psychopathology as defined by the psychoticism and neuroticism scales within Eysenck's dimensional model of personality. Three main findings emerged from the chapter, together with recommendations for future research. The first finding concerns the definition and measurement of mysticism in ways appropriate for comparative research among Muslim, Christian, and religiously unaffiliated young people. The second finding concerns the levels of mystical experience reported among the religiously unaffiliated. The third finding concerns the hypothesized association between mystical experience and psychopathology. The data found no association between reported mystical experience and psychopathology among the Christian affiliates, the Muslim affiliates, and the religiously unaffiliated.

Keywords: Christian; England; Eysenck's dimensional model; Muslim; mysticism; religious identity; sychopathology; Wales



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