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The Impact of Postmodernization on Existential Health in Sweden: Psychology of Religion's Function in Existential Public Health Analysis

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The article presents a portrait and analysis of the existential-psychocultural situation in postmodern Sweden. Drawing from recent research exploring psychology of religion and existential worldviews, and the Swedish findings from the international World Values Survey, an argument is made for thinking about existential function and dysfunction as public health issues. This is portrayed against the background of Sweden as one of the most secularized countries and simultaneously a country with one of the most encompassing welfare systems. Psychology of religion's updated role here would be to take responsibility for identifying and assessing the categories of function and dysfunction for an existential public health system. This role would also include the planning of policy for societal existential wellbeing, as well as planning prevention and intervention efforts for avoiding existential epidemiology. This new role fits well with public health's third revolution agenda focusing on health, wellbeing and quality of life.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Social Sciences of Religion, Uppsala University, Sweden and Division on Addictions, Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance, a division of Harvard Medical School;, Email:


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