Defensive Religion as a Source of Meaning in Life: A Dual Mediational Model

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Religion is a prominent source of meaning in life. However, the content of religious belief systems varies considerably. Previous research suggests that defensive religion serves an existential function but has yet to empirically substantiate its relation to existential outcomes. The present research extends previous work by (a) examining whether defensive religion serves as a source of meaning in life, and (b) identifying mediators of that relationship. We propose a dual mediation model of the meaning-serving function of defensive religiousness. Path analysis revealed that defensive religion was related to meaning in life, and this relationship was mediated by belief in literal immortality and religious commitment. These results suggest that defensive religious beliefs are a source of meaning in life.