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Browsing by Author "Fülöp, Gabriella"

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  • Fülöp, Gabriella (2014)
    The present master’s thesis compares meanings and interpretations of spirituality, as well as its relation to values, between members of three Hungarian communities: two religious- a Christian and a Buddhist- and one secular (work) community. The study considers how spirituality is related to other values in a religious and non-religious context. A large proportion of theory and research uses the terms spirituality and religiosity with similar meanings, while others attribute to religiosity more conservative and collective values, and to spirituality more personal and less formal characteristics and therefore less tradition and more self-direction. Values are studied here within the theoretical frame of Schwartz’s value theory (1992). Participants were 44 Hungarians, members in either a Christian or a Buddhist religious, or one non-religious work community from the field of IT. The study made use of both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Results revealed differences as well as similarities between the three communities. Christians differed the most in terms of spirituality and values, while Buddhists were somewhat closer to secular people who showed more openness and a higher personal focus. In the same time, many similarities were observed alongside the differences. Participants emphasised the relational dimension of spirituality, either to something or someone greater (like God or Nature), or to other people. Consequently, non-material beliefs and self-transcendence values (mostly benevolence and to some degree, universalism) were primarily associated to spirituality, whether religious or non-religious. Quantitative results indicated higher spirituality and conservation value levels for Christians, as well as lower self-enhancement and openness levels. However, self-transcendence values demonstrated no significant differences between the three communities. Spirituality seems to be influenced by an interaction between active community membership and self-transcendence values, as well as by a preference for conservative values over openness ones. Word associations showed mostly benevolence, safety and tradition values for Christians, openness, flexibility and self-direction for Buddhists, and for the IT group, a mix of benevolence, self-direction, but also conformity and openness values. The qualitative content analysis revealed three main categories of defining spirituality for each community: spiritual experiences seen as life-impacting, spirituality viewed in terms of religious and spiritual determinants, and spirituality related to personal growth. Values were identified along three main dimensions as well: benevolence, transcendence and personal focus. The findings are discussed in light of methodological concerns and socio-cultural implications. The results seem to indicate that interreligious dialogue is possible, especially through shared self-transcendence values. Further research would be needed to assist this process with empirical information on how this communication can be best accomplished.