A Qualitative Research on the Psycho-socio- spiritual Background of Joining and Leaving Radical Religious Groups

In: Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 33
İbrahim Yıldırım
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Sevde Düzgüner
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Being mentioned frequently in the global agenda radical religious groups are not abruptly occurred structures. These groups, which are mostly associated with religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism, emerge over time, acquire members, transform and even disappear. Various factors are influential on the emergence of radical religious groups and the attendance of individuals to them. This study is based on the groups with radical ideas that legally operate under the umbrella of foundations and associations in Türkiye. In our research, 42 male participants were interviewed to examine the psycho-socio-spiritual processes behind their participation and leaving the radical religious group. Phenomenology was the design of this quantitative research. Content analysis was conducted to the data. According to the results, the search for meaning, the desire for a sincere environment, the need for religious knowledge and a better practice of the religion had a major impact on the participation in radical religious groups. Factors such as criticism to group practices, loss of sincerity within the group, incompetence, bigotry and disagreements were affective in the decision of separation from groups. Various emotional, spiritual, behavioral, cognitive, and social changes were examined in the process of joining and leaving religious groups, and it was determined that this process had similarities with the conversion process.

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