Date: 4/6/2017 / Venue: Conference Room, 3F, Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica.
This talk will be a broad-based discussion about the project entitled, “Linking spirituality and religiosity to life and health expectancy: A global comparative study,” funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Global aging coupled with increased longevity commands that we explore elements that contribute to healthier in addition to longer lives. External factors such as diagnosis and treatment are important, but growing evidence points to the prominence of internal determinants. Research mostly concentrated in the U.S. suggests religiosity is one of those determinants. The association between religion and healthy aging is particularly important since around the world older persons are more likely than others to be involved in religious activity. It is possible then that religiosity may have ever increasing impacts on global population health. Recognizing this, the project uses a large set of well-regarded secondary data sources to estimate the contribution of religion and spirituality to total and healthy life expectancy. It also involves comparative analyses between religious indicators and health outcomes across a wide range of countries, regions and ways of expressing religious conviction. Preliminary findings from several specific analyses underway will be presented. The talk will end with a discussion about the direction that this project will take.