Andrew Leigh thinks Australia is disconnected, and he’s written a book about it. In Disconnected, Andrew spends a whole chapter outlining why the decline of religion is making social cohesion worse, and the benefits to society of having more religious believers.
To be clear, Andrew says in his book that he’s an atheist. That made John Dickson want to speak to him more. While Andrew can’t sign on to the churches’ theological views, he can see the good that religion does in society, and he’s done a bucket load of research to prove it.
Links related to this episode:
- Listen to Andrew Leigh’s podcast The Good Life.
- A social capital primer from social capital expert Robert Putnam.
- Check out the photo of Andrew and his family that John mentions in the episode.
- Get Andrew’s book, Disconnected.
- Check out some of Robert Putnam’s books, also mentioned in this episode: American Grace (2012); Better Together (2004)
More on Andrew’s updated research on Australia’s social connections:
- Read the Sydney Morning Herald article that outlines more of Andrew’s research: “Loneliness is a problem we can only tackle together.”
- Organise a street party! Here’s some tips from Andrew Leigh, including a template invitation.
- Neighbour Day — it’s a thing. Relationships Australia is encouraging people to get together with their neighbours on Neighbour Day, which they have declared as Sunday 29 March 2020. There’s a bunch of resources to help you get started connecting with your neighbours, here.
- Why not consider giving blood. Find out how (it’s really easy … and remember the snacks!) here.
- Read Alain De Botton’s Religion for Atheists
- Read this article from Centre For Public Christianity’s Natasha Moore about churches and tax exemptions (which also gives a shout out to our ‘phone a friend’ guest this episode, Anne Robinson).
- Meet Anne Robinson, who gave us a rundown on churches and tax.
- Curious about charities and the category of ‘Advancing religion’. Head to the ACNC website to find out more.
- Read the parable of The Good Samaritan.