Aug 12, 2012

Science says faith is good for you health…so why isn’t it news wonders Professor Andrew Sims

Skimming through a friends copy of John Lennox’s Gunning for God: Why the new atheists are missing the taget I came across this striking quote from Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists taken from an article in The Times (£) newspaper:

The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally. If the findings of the huge volume of research on this topic had gone in the opposite direction and it had been found that religion damages your mental health, it would have been front-page news in every newspaper in the land.

In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism;purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout belief and practice probably outweigh the risks.



  • Hi Neil,
    Great quote! Can you give me a proper citation. I searched the Times website and cannot find the Andrew Sims article that was referred to.



  • Will get back to you. I’ve loaned my copy to a friend. BTW your new book is compulsory pre-reading for students starting at Oak Hill College in London. Saw a member of our congregation with a copy yesterday. That and Athanasius’s ‘On the incarnation’.

  • The two paragraphs are quotes from “Is Faith Delusion? Why Religion is Good for Your Health” by Andrew Sims. The first paragraph of the quote is from Andrew Sims, the second paragraph is actually a quote from Koenig and et al. in “Handbook of Religion and Health”. Andrew Sims quoted it because he agreed with it, not because he was the source of that quotation.

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