Religiosity and existential fulfillment of Muslims and Buddhists living in Russia
The article is devoted to the study of the relationship between existential fulfilment as one of the indicators of psychological well-being, and religiosity among Russian citizens practicising Islam and Buddhism. We also compare existential fulfillment of Muslims and Buddhists and Russians from the general population. We understand existential fulfilment, based on A. Lӓngle’s existential analytical approach, as the personal realization of the four fundamental existential motivations (FMs). We first briefly consider how the main themes of the FMs are reflected in the world outlook and practice of both Islam and Buddhism. In an empirical study on a sample of Muslims (N = 181) and Buddhists (N = 131) we used the original Russian version of the Test of Existential Motivation and an “objective” indicator of religious involvement: a survey form for assessing religiosity level includes questions about the frequency of religious practices. A positive correlation was found between existential fulfilment and religiosity. Regression analysis showed that religiosity is a significant predictor of existential fulfilment, independent of the gender, age, place of residence of respondents and the method used for data collection. The level of realization of the 2nd FM, concerning emotionality and value of life, among Muslim participations, was significantly higher than among Buddhist participants. In the levels of realization of other existential fundamental motivations and in the general indicator of existential fulfilment, no significant differences were found between the representatives of two religious groups. Comparison of existential fulfilment indicators for Muslims and Buddhists with similar indicators for a neutral Russian sample from the general population demonstrated that the level of realization for all fundamental existential motivations was significantly higher for believers. Further studies are needed for testing our results in other countries and using representatives of other religions.