Powell, R. & Robbins, M. (2015). The churches and well-being: Perspectives from the Australian National Church Life Survey. Mental Health, Religion & Culture,18(1), 1-7. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/13674676.2015.1011370
Australia is a nation with high levels of recorded well-being. This paper introduces a collection of papers which are concerned with the intersections between well-being and religion in an Australian context. The research is conducted on a religious population, namely Christian church attenders and local church leaders (both clergy and lay) in congregations in the Australian National Church Life Surveys (NCLS), perhaps the largest database on church life in the world. The NCLS covers more than 20 Protestant and Catholic denominations. Each survey wave has collected responses from hundreds of thousands of individual church attenders in thousands of local churches. To frame the research, we define subjective well-being as an aspect of mental health and establish the positive relationship that has been found with religion. Some features of the Australian cultural context are also provided as background. The paper then offers a brief synopsis of articles in the collection. They include a methodological overview, and studies of links between volunteering, psychological type, religious orientation and well-being, as well as work engagement among clergy.
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