Seeking New Meaning in the Shadow of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Research of Spiritual Issues and Experiences among Students in Turkish Society

Karataş M., Duyan V., Pak M. D.

Journal of Religion and Health, vol.1, no.1, pp.1-19, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10943-023-01850-3
  • Journal Name: Journal of Religion and Health
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-19
  • Kütahya Health Sciences University Affiliated: Yes


Spirituality is one aspect to consider given the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the

number of in-depth qualitative studies on spirituality-related issues and experiences

is limited. The present study investigated the spiritual problems and experiences

of students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study was carried out with 342

Muslim students undertaking a distance education program at a state university

in Turkey. The study was carried out using the non-probability sampling method.

The data was collected using Qualtrics through a questionnaire consisting of openended

questions related to spirituality during COVID-19. The data was analyzed

using MAXQDA. The findings consisted of three categories, including spirituality

during the pandemic, attitudes and behaviors related to the pandemic with a focus

on spirituality, and feelings and thoughts about spirituality during the pandemic.

There were fourteen subcategories, including resilience, meaning of life, coping

mechanisms, acceptance, doubts, cleanliness, solidarity, risky behaviors, digitalization,

religious rituals, inner peace, death, emotions, and hope. To meet the spiritual

needs of students, it can be recommended to provide a suitable place for worship,

to maintain the relations of individuals with religious centers and to direct them to

spiritual counseling services.