Original Research - Special Collection: Theology and Nature

Investigating the role of religious beliefs of people interacting with the environment: A case of Iranian students at Muslim universities

Mohammad H. Mokhtari
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 1 | a6107 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i1.6107 | © 2020 Mohammad H. Mokhtari | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 May 2020 | Published: 27 October 2020

About the author(s)

Mohammad H. Mokhtari, Department of Theology and Philosophy of Religion, Imam Khomeini (RA) Educational and Research Institute, Qom, Iran; Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Undoubtedly, environmental damage is one of the most important challenges facing contemporary human beings. This is important because the signs that threaten this damage have now become apparent, threatening humans with widespread environmental pollution. On the other hand, humanity will not be able to live a normal life without a safe and healthy environment. Therefore, preservation and protection of the environment, as the most important basic needs of survival, are considered by everyone, including researchers. As a consequence, various studies aim to identify the factors that play a role in how humans and the environment interact. To this end, the present study considered the comprehensiveness of Islam and paid attention to all human needs, and intended to examine the role of religious beliefs on how to interact with the environment. It is worth mentioning that the statistical population of this study comprised 387 Iranian Muslim students (from different Islamic religions) from different universities in Iran. After the distribution of standardised research questionnaires whose validity and reliability was confirmed, the collected data were analysed by statistical software. Finally, the results concluded the following: (1) The investigated statistical population pledged and bonded to religious instructions, (2) the investigated statistical population had an appropriate interaction with the environment and (3) the obligation and pledge to religious beliefs had a positive and significant role in people interacting with the environment so that people with strong religious beliefs had a more appropriate interaction with the environment, in opposition to people with less religious beliefs whose interaction with the environment was not apt.

Contribution: This research provides further insight into the relations between Theology, religious beliefs and the interaction of people with the environment.


Religious beliefs; Interaction with environment; Muslim eco-theology; Muslim students; Muslim universities


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