Religiosity and quality of life in South Africa
- 182 Downloads
Using nationally representative survey data, this paper explores the relationship between religiosity and quality of life. Three indicators of religiosity are used: (i) frequency of attendance at religious services or meetings, (ii) orthodoxy of beliefs in relation to Biblical teachings and (iii) religious denomination. Quality of life (QoL) is measured in terms of (i) household access to modern conveniences, (ii) self-assessed life satisfaction and (iii) level of satisfaction with government institutions. The data shows a significant but not very strong statistical relationship between religiosity and QoL. People who attend religious meetings most frequently and who hold the most orthodox religious views are thus more likely to have access to modern conveniences and to be satisfied with their lives. Satisfaction with government, however, tends to be highest amongst nominally religious people and lowest amongst both the most orthodox and the least religious.
Key wordsdenomination life satisfaction orthodoxy quality of life religion
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
The survey to collect the data discussed in this paper was conducted while the author was Director of Surveys at the Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria. My gratitude for the insightful comments, especially on the value of public opinion, that were provided by Lawrence Schlemmer after his reading of an initial draft of this paper.
- Baum G., (1975) Religion and Alienation. Paulist Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Berger P.L., (1961) The Noise of Solemn Assemblies: Christian Commitment and the Religious Establishment in America. Doubleday & Company, Inc., New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Finn G., (1992) The politics of spirituality: The spirituality of politics. In: Berry P., Wernick A. (Eds) Shadow of Spirit: Postmodernism and Religion. Routledge, London, pp 111–122Google Scholar
- Gifford P., (1988) The Religious Right in Southern Africa. University of Zimbabwe/Baobab Books, HarareGoogle Scholar
- Jenkins, P.: 2002, ‚The next Christianity’, The Atlantic Monthly, October 2002, 53–68Google Scholar
- Markides K.S., (1983) Aging, religiosity, and adjustment: A longitudinal analysis Journal of Gerontology 38:621–625Google Scholar
- Martin D., (1990) Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America. Basil Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Morran E.S., Schlemmer L., (1984) Faith for The Fearful? Centre for Applied Social Sciences, University of Natal, DurbanGoogle Scholar
- Myers D., (1987) Social Psychology 2nd edition. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Orkin M., Hirschowitz R., (1997) Inequality in South Africa: Findings from the 1994 october household survey Social Indicators Research 41(1–3): 119–136Google Scholar
- Roberts, B.: 2006, ‘The happy transition? Attitudes to poverty and inequality after a decade of democracy’, in U. Pillay, B. Roberts and S. Rule (eds.), South African Social Attitudes: Changing Times, Diverse Voices (HSRC Press, Cape Town), pp. 101–130Google Scholar
- Rule S., (2002) Spirituality in South Africa: Christian beliefs, in HSRC, Public Attitudes in Contemporary South Africa. Blue Weaver, Cape TownGoogle Scholar
- Rule, S. and B. Mncwango: forthcoming, Christianity in South Africa: Theory and Practice, SASAS 2004 (Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria)Google Scholar
- Salazar P.-J., (2001) Joining religion and politics: The South African rhetorical presidency Journal for the Study of Religion 14(1):35–46Google Scholar
- Triandis, H.C.: 1982, Incongruence between intentions and behavior. Paper presented to American Psychological Association Convention (cited by Myers, 1987)Google Scholar
- Venter D., (2002) What is sociology that religionists should be mindful of it? The relevance of the sociology of religion for studying change in South Africa Journal for the Study of Religion 15(2):167–189Google Scholar
- Vermeulen D., Gerhard J., Porteous C., Teichert K., Siaki P., Jackson R., de Oliveira J.B., (2000) Transforming South Africa through Saturation Church Planting. Church Planting Alliance, HelderkruinGoogle Scholar