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Spirit Matters presents an in-depth analysis of an important database - the Wellbeing and Security Survey - carried out over a number of years.
The Wellbeing and Security Survey is one of the most wide-ranging national surveys ever undertaken in Australia on issues of wellbeing, religion, spirituality and how we make sense of life.
The survey contained a total of 441 questions or sub-questions. From an analysis of the data, the book identifies seven major approaches to life, including actively religious approaches, alternative forms of spirituality, and largely secular orientations.
The book then asks: What are the consequences of a choice of one or another approach?
Spirit Matters shows that some approaches are more likely than others to generate outcomes such as a strong sense of purpose, optimism and openness to personal growth.
Funding for the project came from the Australian Research Council as well as the collaborating research partners – Edith Cowan University, Deakin University, Anglicare (Sydney) and NCLS Research.
In addition to providing financial support, these organisations gave the authors full academic freedom in the design of the survey and analysis of the data. NCLS Research also facilitated access to data from the 2009 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes.