The Use of Sacred Texts in Understanding Selected Cultural Aspects of the Egyptian and British Cultures - a pilot study

Maged Zakher, Vladimir Zegarac, Milka Ivanova

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportConference Contribution

Abstract

Sacred texts such as the Bible and the Qur'an are cultural products whose meanings, though largely shared by vast populations, vary significantly across socio-cultural groups. Therefore, it seems likely that such texts can be used fruitfully to elicit ethnographic data without the interference of assumptions about the researcher’s cultural background and communicative intentions. This paper reports an initial exploration into the merits of using sacred texts in social research by investigating individual and cultural differences relating to self-worth, attitudes to parents and doing good to others. Five participants were individually presented with sets of seemingly-contradictory Biblical or Qur’anic verses and asked to comment on the meaning of each verse in the context of at least one personal experience in which the verse is relevant. The data collection process by semi structured interviews and the findings support our assumption that the use of sacred texts in qualitative ethnographic research holds much promise.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIETAR Austria/IACCM Conference Proceedings
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015

Keywords

  • methodology
  • Christianity
  • Muslim
  • Egypt
  • UK

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