Friday 1 July 2016

Theos Report on Religion and Well-Being

The latest report from Theos has recently been published:

Here’s the summary blurb:

‘The relationship between religion and wellbeing is widely and frequently reported. Academic studies published in peer-reviewed journals regularly confirm the widespread belief that “religion” is good for “well-being”.

But what do we mean by “religion” and what do we mean by “well-being”? Neither term is exactly self-explanatory.

‘This report evaluates the evidence from nearly 140 academic studies conducted over the last three decades examining the relationship between religion and well-being in a wide range of countries and contexts.

It clarifies the key terms, showing how “religion” has been used to cover a multitude of subtly different concepts (e.g. religious affiliation, subjective religiosity, religious belief, religious group participation, and religious personal participation), as has “well-being” (e.g. subjective well-being, mental health, physical health, and health supporting behaviours).

By doing so the report not only clarifies the extent to which religion is good for well-being, but begins to explain what this means, adding detail to the big familiar picture.

Ultimately it confirms that big picture – religion is indeed good for well-being – but by showing the nuances of that relationship, Religion and Well-being hopes to inform the debate about how society should capitalise on this important resource.’

A pdf of the full report is available here.

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