The Chair has completed a new stage of its strategic project, dedicated to Dialogue of World Religions in Present-Day World. The stage consisted in detection of basic features shaping intrinsic religiosity of Shi’a Muslims in Daghesta, Russia. Its main results were presented as a scientific paper in a peer-reviewed journal (Spivak D., Seidova G., Venkova A.Intrinsic Religiosity of Shiite Muslims in Russia // International Journal of Cultural Research. 2020. № 1. P. 234–254. DOI: 10.24411/2079-1100-2020-000017).
As stated in the Summary of the article, “100 members of the local religious community of Shiite Muslims, aged and young, female and male, were interviewed, basing on the facilities of the historical Juma Mosque at the city of Derbent, in the south of the Republic of Daghestan. As a result, three dominant psychological experiences were detected: (a) having “spiritual experience that strengthened one’s belief in God’, (b) “feeling close to God”, (c) having “experience that convinced one of God’s existence”, two moderate experiences: (d) “spending considerable time on religious or spiritual practices”, (e) “considering oneself as strongly religious’ or, as “spiritually-oriented”, and two weaker ones: (f) “feeling often to be very close to a powerful spiritual force”, and (g) definitely agreeing to the statement “God dwells within me”.
“Dominant experiences tended to be dynamic / active, while the weak ones were mostly static and passive. No statistically relevant dependence upon age and / or sex of respondents was detected in the case of the dominant experiences, most possibly due to their being too strong. As to the moderate ones, strong degree of dependence upon age and / or sex was detected. Aged women tended to get the highest scores on all seven sub-scales applied by us; aged men revealed a somewhat lower level of intrinsic religiosity. Young men occupied the second place from the top at five scales out of seven, applied by us, while young women got the lowest scores. Thus, basing on strictly formal criteria, two focal types of intrinsic religiosity of Shiite Muslims in Russia were revealed, one of them being characteristic for aged people, especially aged women, another one, being almost exclusively proper for young men”.
The Chair intends to incorporate these results into present-day interfaith dialogue in Russia.