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Religion and Subjective Well-being

Perspectives of Early Career Professionals in Ghana’s Public Universities

In: Journal of Religion in Africa
Authors:
Ben-Willie Kwaku Golo Department for the Study of Religions, University of Ghana Legon, Accra Ghana

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9141-6866
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Ernestina E. Novieto Department for the Study of Religions, University of Ghana Legon, Accra Ghana

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6335-4277
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Abstract

The relationship between religion and subjective well-being has received research attention in recent decades with mixed results, particularly related to life satisfaction, fewer traumatic outcomes, and happiness. With the assumption that the connection between religion and subjective well-being depends on the context and the religious certainty of participants and considering that majority of religion-well-being research were carried out predominantly in contexts of diminishing centrality of institutional religion and religious fervor, this paper specifically researches early career professionals with claims to religiousness and religious certainties in three of Ghana’s public universities. Using the mixed-method of research with two-hundred and thirty-six surveys and twenty-five in-depth interviews we found that our participants understanding of subjective well-being reflects the complexity of the subject. We also found that while their claims indicate a strong relationship between their religiosities and their well-being, particularly through religious meaning-making, these are not without elements of negative relationships. We conclude that, while the data offers some unique insights, it further supports the view of the complexities in the conclusions on religiosity and well-being.

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