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.
The secular approach to development has treated religion as anti-developmental. However, the history of how development was part of missionary activity, such as the provision of health and educational infrastructure in some African countries, has been widely acknowledged. In this paper, therefore, we contend that the marginalisation of religion in development discourse is a result of a faulty and fractured understanding of religion. We argue that sustainable development, if attainable in contemporary Africa, would require that organised and institutional religions in Africa as well as their religious cosmologies, convictions and orientations feature and remain integral to such processes. With reference to neo-Pentecostal economies in Africa, we intend to discuss why and how religion – religious cosmologies, ontologies and institutions – is indispensable in the sustainable development process in Africa. Specifically, keeping in focus the human dimensions of development, we intend to argue that the beliefs, teachings and activities of neo-Pentecostal churches on human salvation, progress and/or transformation, such as prosperity and wealth creation, which has seen them emerge on the socioeconomic scene, indicate the potentials of neo-Pentecostals in particular, and religion in general, to contribute immensely to sustainable development. This, however, is not to gloss over some of the challenges they potentially pose to sustainable development.