You are here:


Is it well with my soul? Effects of contemporary African religious practices on well-being

Promotion of well-being and healthy lives is the third goal of the United Nations Organization Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) (United Nations Organization, 2015) and as such well-being has become a major concern among national leaders and policymakers. Critics have noted that normative conceptions of well-being are rooted in the modern individualist models of person associated with North American and some European worlds; but do not resonate with the more relational understandings of being and well-being that are prominent in most non-Western settings. This current project therefore investigates well-being across different cultural ecologies in Ghana and contrasts them with notions of well-being in mainstream scientific research (in the West). The project is unique as it illuminates another source of variation in conceptions of well-being: religious ideology and practice. Religious organizations are vibrant in West Africa and exercise a tangible influence on individuals and societies. Research shows that religious organizations within West Africa have impact on education, economics, marriage and family life. However, their impact on well-being has received limited empirical examination. To fill this gap, this project explores concepts and experiences of well-being in different religious traditions, including communities of practice within Christianity, Islam, and African Traditional Religion. The project will contribute towards a better understanding of the religion-society dynamics; and critique notions of well-being in mainstream scientific research in the West to include conceptions held in situations of embeddedness in West Africa.


Fellows involved in this project


Share this project:

Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].