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The NonreligiousUnderstanding Secular People and Societies$
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Phil Zuckerman, Luke W. Galen, and Frank L. Pasquale

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199924950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199924950.001.0001

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Secularity and Well-Being

Secularity and Well-Being

(p.128) 7 Secularity and Well-Being
The Nonreligious

Phil Zuckerman

Luke W. Galen

Frank L. Pasquale

Oxford University Press

There are many facets to mental and physical well-being, including happiness, life satisfaction, and longevity, as well as the absence of depression and anxiety. Well-being also encompasses a range of epistemic and existential needs such as feeling a sense of purpose, meaning, and control, particularly in the face of impending mortality. There has historically been considerable interest in examining these issues as a function of religiosity, but only recently has this focus expanded to include the affirmatively secular and nonreligious. Greater well-being among seculars is closely linked to levels of familial, social, and cultural support. Studies find the highest levels of well-being among those with confident worldviews who are embedded in supportive social and familial contexts. Sources of coping and self-esteem for secular individuals are not markedly different than those utilized by religious individuals, although they involve nontranscendent factors such as the appreciation of family, friends, science, art, and nature.

Keywords:   secular well-being, secular mental health, secular physical health, secular coping

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