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Well-being and religion in India: a preliminary literature review

Jha, Shreya (2011) Well-being and religion in India: a preliminary literature review. Working Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

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Contemporary ideas about religion and its role in Indian society are rooted in the county's pre-colonial history, the interpretations and actions of the colonial government, and the post-colonial evolution of Indian society and the state. Most academic attention within India has generally focussed on its role in generating conflict and underpinning societal divisions. Religion has also been seen as an impediment to modernization and an obstacle to the formation of a secular state. The pursuit of secularism in the political sphere fails to recognize that the vast majority of people in South Asia are active practitioners of a religion and that the religious traditions with which they are affiliated encompass the entirety of their lives and are a key source of values and meanings, with the result that for them the public and private spheres are intertwined. This review was undertaken in preparation for a study of how well-being is understood by poor people associated with different religions in India, the roles religion plays in their conceptions of well-being, the resources on which well-being depends and the processes by which it is increased or undermined. The review conceptualizes religion as a source of identity, community and values but notes that the existing literature does not make the links between religion and well-being explicit.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Number of Pages:47
Department:International Development Department
Projects:Religions and Development Research Programme
Series/Collection Name:RaD Working Papers Series
Keywords:Well-being, Religion, Development, India
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
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Copyright Holders:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1545

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