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Why 'pardoning' gay men does not redeem Parliament

Ben Ryan on why the language of 'pardon' is at best odd, and at worst offensive for an unjust law that destroyed the lives of countless men

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Latest Report

Religion and Well-being: Assessing the Evidence


The relationship between religion and wellbeing is widely and frequently reported. Academic studies published in peer-reviewed journals regularly confirm the widespread belief that ‘religion’ is good for ‘well-being’.

But what do we mean by ‘religion’ and what do we mean by ‘well-being’? Neither term is exactly self-explanatory. 

This report evaluates the evidence from nearly 140 academic studies conducted over the last three decades examining the relationship between religion and well-being in a wide range of countries and contexts.

It clarifies the key terms, showing how ‘religion’ has been used to cover a multitude of subtly different concepts (e.g. religious affiliation, subjective religiosity, religious belief, religious group participation, and religious personal participation), as has ‘well-being’ (e.g. subjective well-being, mental health, physical health, and health supporting behaviours).

By doing so the report not only clarifies the extent to which religion is good for well-being, but begins to explain what this means, adding detail to the big familiar picture.

Ultimately it confirms that big picture – religion is indeed good for well-being – but by showing the nuances of that relationship, Religion and Well-being hopes to inform the debate about how society should capitalise on this important resource.

Read the full report here or an Executive Summary here.

Nick Spencer is Research Director at Theos.

Gillian Madden is a former research intern at Theos. She is currently completing a MA in Christian Leadership (St Mellitus College), and read Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University (Sydney).

Clare Purtill is a former research intern at Theos. She read Theology and Religion at Durham University and has an MA in Christian Theology (Catholic Studies).

Joseph Ewing is a former research intern at Theos. He read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University

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