Title

Examining religion and well-being across cultures : the cognitive science of religion as sextant

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Religious Cognition in China: "Homo Religiosus" and the Dragon

Publication Date

10-2017

First Page

195

Last Page

214

Publisher

Springer International Publishing

Keywords

Religion and wellbeing, World values survey, Cognitive science of religion

Abstract

The cognitive science of religion examines the naturalness of religious phenomena by identifying universals in the human cognitive apparatus and process, then exploring the nomological nets surrounding them. There is variation both within and across populations in these constructs and in their linkages, thereby enabling cultural examination of these religious phenomena that have so far been operationalized. We hypothesize that religious phenomena so approached occur within a social-psychological context characterized by affordances that channel their realization and enactments. A fuller understanding of any religious outcome-of-interest will be better understood by considering the characteristics of these contexts that may impinge upon the religious phenomena experienced by a given person. In this essay, we consider the available evidence supporting this hypothesis in multi-national data sets addressing religious beliefs and practices, particularly with regard to their implications for a person’s subjective well-being. The available results support the notion that religion differentially matters to the life of an individual in different cultures. However, the data sets are few, their measures atheoretically conceived, piecemeal, and survey-derived. To encourage more thoughtful, culturally embedded research on the naturalness of religious phenomena, we conclude by exhorting colleagues to address these shortfalls and broaden their conceptual range and empirical reach in the scientific study of religion.

DOI

10.1007/978-3-319-62954-4_13

Publisher Statement

Copyright © Springer International Publishing AG 2017. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Additional Information

ISBN of the source publication: 9783319629520

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Language

English

Recommended Citation

Bond, M. H. & Lun, V. M. C. (2017). Examining religion and well-being across cultures: The cognitive science of religion as sextant. In R. G. Hornbeck, J. L. Barrett & M. Kang (Eds.), Religious Cognition in China: "Homo Religiosus" and the Dragon (pp. 195-214). Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-62954-4

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