1st Edition

Religious and Non-Religious Perspectives on Happiness and Wellbeing

Edited By Sharada Sugirtharajah Copyright 2022
    246 Pages
    by Routledge

    246 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores the theme of happiness and well-being from religious, spiritual, philosophical, psychological, humanistic, and health perspectives. Taking a non-binary approach, it considers how happiness in particular has been understood and appropriated in religious and non-religious strands of thought. The chapters offer incisive insight from a variety of perspectives, including humanism, atheism and major religions such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism. Together they demonstrate that although worldviews might vary substantially, there are concurrences across religious and non-religious perspectives on happiness that provide a common ground for further cross-cultural and interreligious exploration. What the book makes clear is that happiness is not a static or monolithic category. It is an ongoing process of being and becoming, striving and seeking, living ethically and meaningfully, as well as arriving at a tranquil state of being. This multifaceted volume makes a fresh contribution to the contemporary study of happiness and is valuable reading for scholars and students from religious studies and theology, including those interested in interreligious dialogue and the psychology of religion, as well as positive psychology.


    Sharada Sugirtharajah

    1 Humanism and the pursuit of happiness

    Andrew Copson

    2 Happiness and Wellbeing in Positive Psychology: An Evaluation and Examination with a Focus on the Virtues of Gratitude and Hope

    Liz Gulliford

    3 Why I am happy to feel sad

    Linda Gask

    4 Happiness and Health

    Paula McGee

    5 Happiness and Judaism

    Simon Dein

    6 Happiness and Wellbeing in Christianity

    David McLoughlin

    7 Happiness and Wellbeing in Muslim Scripture

    Amir Dastmalchian

    8 Buddhism and human flourishing – key ideas and motifs

    Peter Harvey

    9 Happiness and Wellbeing from a Daoist Perspective

    Yanxia Zhao

    10 Understanding Happiness: A Hindu Perspective

    Sharada Sugirtharajah

    11 Religiosity and Happiness: Much Ado About Nothing

    Ryan Cragun and David Speed


    Sharada Sugirtharajah


    Sharada Sugirtharajah is Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham, England.