This article is located at and motivated by the intersection of two grand narratives of current times: the search for meaning and well-being. My aim in this article is to critically review the entanglements of the two core concepts – well-being and meaningfulness – and to explore both religion and, more especially, the expertise of sociologists of religion in relation to them. The core argument of the article centres on the bridging role of sense of meaning: meaningfulness is a more crucial mediator between religion and well-being than that which is usually depicted. The article consists of three parts: the first part introduces the concept of well-being, and criticism of it, as well as contributing illustrations of the critical core assets – particularly of sociologists of religion – in these issues. The second part explores the exact role of religion, benevolence and belonging with respect to well-being, while the third offers reflections of and on sociology, in relation to the core issue of well-being.

Keywords: Religion, religiosity, well-being, emotions, meaningfulness, sense of meaning, belonging, sense of belonging, altruism, benevolence