Constructing Meaning through Connection

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  • Title: Constructing Meaning through Connection: Religious Perspectives on the Purpose of Life
  • Author(s): Adam Callister, Quinn Galbraith, Heather Kelley
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Religion in Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society
  • Keywords: Purpose of Life, Meaning, Relationships, Connection, Religion
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2154-8633 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8641 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2154-8633/CGP/v09i03/15-31
  • Citation: Callister, Adam, Quinn Galbraith, and Heather Kelley. 2019. "Constructing Meaning through Connection: Religious Perspectives on the Purpose of Life." The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society 9 (3): 15-31. doi:10.18848/2154-8633/CGP/v09i03/15-31.
  • Extent: 17 pages

Abstract

Given prior research, which establishes a connection between religiosity and an increased sense of meaning in life, this study draws on qualitative data from interviews with 172 religious individuals living in Ireland and the United Kingdom in order to analyze what religious individuals perceive as their purpose in life. Interviews were conducted in person, recorded, transcribed verbatim, and coded utilizing a team-based methodology. Researchers identified three main themes from the data related to the idea that the purpose of life is tied to relationships and connection: love and service toward others, family relationships, and connection with God. An analysis of these findings and prior research on the topic suggests that part of religion’s role in increasing a sense of meaning in life is that of encouraging adherents to build and foster meaningful relationships.