English Religions are said to bring meaning into an otherwise chaotic world. The purpose of this article
is to evaluate that meaning-making capacity on an empirical basis. To do so I use data from
the World Values Survey.
There is a strong, negative correlation between feeling that life is meaningless and feeling
happy. Hence, if religions do bring meaning to the life of believers, religious people might be
happier. That is in fact the finding of this study. Also religious people are less prone to feelings
of meaninglessness, independently of how happy they are. It seems that they are better at making
meaning of life.
The correlation between religiousness and happiness are positive for almost every group; it
does not matter if they are rich or poor, whether they are well educated and so on. Some
groups, though, have stronger correlations than others. For instance, widowed have a rather
strong correlation compared to say, singles. The reason could be that when confronted with
death, coping is done by means of meaning-making.
In sum, religious meaning-making seems to have a significant effect on people’s perception
of life, especially when it comes to dealing with unsolvable problems like death.