Sharada SugirtharajahAug 17, 2023
Religious and Non-Religious Perspectives on Happiness and Wellbeing
Sharada Sugirtharajah's edited volume Religious and Non-Religious Perspectives on Happiness and Wellbeing (Routledge, 2022) 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.
Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.com.