QUESTIONING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RELIGION AND MARRIAGE: DOES RELIGION AFFECT LONG-LASTING MARRIAGE? TURKISH COUPLES PRACTICE OF, PERCEPTION OF, AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS RELIGION AND MARRIAGE

Abstract

Author(s): Mehmet Ali BALKANLIOGLU

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between religion and longlasting marriages. The study, with sixty participants (thirty Turkish married couples), attempted to explore couples’ perception of religion, practice of religion, views about the relationship between religion and marriage, and how they perceive religion as a solution to their marital problems. Purposive and snowball sampling methods were used. Data were collected using face-to-face interviews, participant observation, socio-demographic questionnaire, and survey methods. Data were analyzed using Grounded Theory method and SPSS software. Findings indicated differences among couples’ practice of, perceptions of and attitudes towards marriage and religion. With regard to religious practice, variety was observed among participants in general and couples in particular. With respect to the effects of religious beliefs and practices on the marriage, it was discovered that some couples did not found religion to be effective on their marriages while majority mentioned positive effects of religion on solving their marital problems. Also, majority of the couples believed that religion could present solutions for marital problems.

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