Monday 24 January 2005

Being spiritual, being well

A report late last year from a research conglomerate involving Anglicare, Edith Cowan University and others studied the connections between spirituality and well-being. Reading the report, I was struck by how weak the correlations are. It's all quite complex, but the data seems to suggest that being spiritual (rather than religious) doesn't much enhance your satisfaction, sense of purpose or personal growth. If you have orthodox religious beliefs, you are likely to be more optimistic and concerned for others. but if you are "religiously dogmatic" you may have lower self-esteem and personal growth than if you are not.

This makes the apologetic line "Christianity is good for you" hard to maintain except slightly and in some specific areas. It may be better to stick with the approach that looks for the real, the true, the beautiful and the good.

Download the report here.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The report does make it difficult to argue that spirituality is good for your health... but surely that comes as no surprise to most practising Christians? Following Christ is very much about choosing the narrow, difficult path - and making sacrifices, both personal and physical, to do so. Not an easy line to take when trying to convert someone, but an important truth to remember.