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Meaning Among Moroccan Muslim Migrants

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image of Journal of Empirical Theology

The author reports on a exploratory study on the ways Muslim immigrants to Netherlands use their religious background to create meaning in the practice of everyday life. Meaning is defined as the relief of a condition of anomie. Interview data from 76 Moroccan men age 40 and older were explored in search of three types of Islamic theodicy. Support was found for the spiritual accountancy hypothesis and the surrender hypothesis. The first refers to the practice of performing ritual acts to compensate for past sin, to appease a retaliatory God. The second suggests an attitude of patient and graceful surrender to one's fate as part of God's divine plan. No support was found for the spiritual support hypothesis, predicting that Muslims experience derive compassion through the use of religious myth in the construction of their self-narrative. Some preliminary psychological conclusions are drawn and suggestions for a follow-up study are made.


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