Dharma World

Autumn 2022, Volume 49

    Autumn 2022, Volume 49(PDF)

Religion and Happiness

According to the 2019 Pew Research Center survey, in the United States and more than two dozen other countries, people who actively practice religion are relatively happier than those who do not or those who have no religious affiliation at all.

Other findings show, however, that in economically developed, democratic countries, where personal freedom is highly valued, religiosity is much less tied to happiness than to personal independence. Other research suggests that people of some religions are happier and more satisfied than people who belong to other religions.

On the face of it, a primary goal of religious practice would naturally seem to be happiness, but there are many arguments against happiness being the first priority of religion. As some schools of psychology hold that happiness is a result of self-actualization or the creation of meaning in one’s life, religion may provide an objective or give meaning to people’s lives, but not necessarily happiness. The content of the definition of “happiness” is also open to debate, and may be defined differently across cultures and religious traditions.

Does religion make people happy? Is happiness the goal of religion? How are religion and personal freedom correlated? How does the subjective perception of happiness, which is an individual’s emotions or feelings, correlate with an objective evaluation of well-being? Does the meaning or the objective that religion provides always bring happiness to its adherents?

On the basis of these questions, the feature pages explore relations between religion and happiness.

Dharma World

  1. Autumn 2023, Volume 50

    Religion and the Family

  2. Spring 2023, Volume 50

    Religion’s Role in Peacebuilding

  3. Autumn 2022, Volume 49

    Religion and Happiness

  4. Spring 2022, Volume 49

    The Impact of Cyberspace on a Variety of Religious Traditions and Practices

  5. Autumn 2021, Volume 48

    Religion's Potential for Advancing Sustainable Development

  6. Spring 2021, Volume 48

    What Is Prayer?

  7. Autumn 2020, Volume 47

    Religion’s Role in Building an Inclusive Society

  8. Spring 2020, Volume 47

    Violence in Buddhism

  9. Autumn 2019, Volume 46

    Manga, Anime, and Contemporary Religion

  10. Spring 2019, Volume 46

    Is Emptiness the Goal?

  11. July-December 2018, Volume 45

    The Buddhahood of Plants and Trees: The Environment and Buddha-Nature

  12. January-June 2018, Volume 45

    Buddhism’s One Vehicle in a World of Many Religions

  13. July-December 2017, Volume 44

    Religions Tackling Extremism

  14. January-June 2017, Volume 44

    Religion and Animals

  15. October-December 2016, Volume 43

    Features: Listening

  16. July-September 2016, Volume 43

    Contemporary Ideas about Karma

  17. April-June 2016, Volume 43

    Buddhism and Food

  18. January-March 2016, Volume 43

    Dual Religious Identity: Can One Practice Two Religions?

  19. October-December 2015, Volume 42

    The Modern Significance of Meditative Practices in Religions

  20. July-September 2015, Volume 42

    Religious Rituals and Their Meaning for Today

  21. April-June 2015, Volume 42

    Religion's Contributions to Society

  22. January-March 2015, Volume 42

    Cultivating Hearts That Welcome the Other

  23. October-December 2014, Volume 41

    Buddhism and Language

  24. July-September 2014, Volume 41

    Life After Death

  25. April-June 2014, Volume 41

    Building an East Asian Community: Roles of Religions

  26. January-March 2014, Volume 41

    Aging Societies and Religion

  27. October-December 2013, Volume 40

    Nuclear Power and Contemporary Religion

  28. July-September 2013, Volume 40

    Where Does the Buddha Live Now?

  29. April-June 2013, Volume 40

    Modern Meanings of Festivals

  30. January-March 2013, Volume 40

    Transforming Greed

  31. October-December 2012, Volume 39

    Religions Coping with Prejudice

  32. July-September 2012, Volume 39

    The Significance of Religious Communities

  33. April-June 2012, Volume 39

    Buddhist Teachings on Spiritual Liberation

  34. January-March 2012, Volume 39

    The Meaning of Modern Pilgrimage

  35. October-December 2011, Volume 38

    The Evolution of Funerals in Japan

  36. July-September 2011, Volume 38

    Buddhism in North America

  37. April-June 2011, Volume 38

    Religion and the Power of Women

  38. January-March 2011, Volume 38

    What Is True Wealth?

  39. October-December 2010, Volume 37

    Dialogue Draws Religions Closer

  40. July-September 2010, Volume 37

    Tackling the Question "What Is the Lotus Sutra?"

  41. April-June 2010, Volume 37

    Religion's Role in Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

  42. January-March 2010, Volume 37

    Help in Overcoming Alienation

  43. July-September 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Prayer

  44. July-September 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Media

  45. April-June 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Health

  46. January-March 2009, Volume 36

    The Changing Forms of the Family and the Role of Religion

  47. October-December 2008, Volume 35

    The Meaning of Giving in the Contemporary World

  48. July-September 2008, Volume 35

    Buddhism in the Face of Environmental Crisis

  49. April-June 2008, Volume 35

    The Many Forms of the Bodhisattva Kuan-yin

  50. January-March 2008, Volume 35

    Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution

  51. October-December 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Bioethics

  52. July-September 2007, Volume 34

    Respect for Ancestors

  53. April-June 2007, Volume 34

    Self-Examination and Peace Work

  54. January-March 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Social Responsibility: Boddhisattva Practice Today

  55. October-December 2006, Volume 33

    Buddishm in Dialogue

  56. July-September 2006, Volume 33

    Religions Working for Peace

  57. April-June 2006, Volume 33

    Creating the World of the One Vehicle: The Centennial of the Birth of Rev. Nikkyo Niwano

  58. January-February 2006, Volume 33

    The Human Condition and Religion: A Global Future?

  59. November-December 2005, Volume 32

    Remembering Hiroshima

  60. September-October 2005, Volume 32

    Spirituality and Development

  61. July-August 2005, Volume 32

    Women in Contemporary Japanese Religion and Society

  62. May-June 2005, Volume 32

    Rissho Kosei-kai 67th

  63. March-April 2005, Volume 32

    "Thousand Buddhas," Sanbanggulsa Temple, South Korea

  64. January-February 2005, Volume 32

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  65. November-December 2004, Volume 31

    Peace Building Through Multi-Religious Cooperation

  66. September-October 2004, Volume 31

    The Increasing Importance of Dialogue and Cooperation

  67. July-August 2004, Volume 31

    Paths to Reconciliation

  68. May-June 2004, Volume 31

    Religion in Crisis

  69. March-April 2004, Volume 31

    Spiritual Friendship

  70. January-February 2004, Volume 31

    Resolving Conflict

  71. November-December 2003, Volume 30

    Dividing Good From Evil

  72. September-October 2003, Volume 30

    Common Truths: Cooperation Among Religions

  73. July-August 2003, Volume 30

    Niwano Peace Foundation

  74. May-June 2003, Volume 30

    Religionists United in Prayer for Peace

  75. March-April 2003, Volume 30

    Life is Larger Than Globalization

  76. January-February 2003, Volume 30

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  77. November-December 2002, Volume 29

    Roundtable Disscussion at the World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom

  78. September-October 2002, Volume 29

    Sixth Assembly of the Asian Conference on Religion and Peace, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  79. July-August 2002, Volume 29

    The Most Reverend Samuel Ruiz Garcia, Recipient of the 19th Niwano Peace Prize

  80. May-June 2002, Volume 29

    National Treasure Tapestry Illustrating Shakyamuni Sermon to the Faithful

  81. March-April 2002, Volume 29

    Celebration of the Anniversary of Shakyamuni's Birth

  82. January-February 2002, Volume 29

    Religious Delegates Gather in New York for WCRP Symposium

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