Religion, Religious Organisations and Development: Scrutinising religious perceptions and organisations

1st Edition

Carole Rakodi

Published August 13, 2013
Reference - 296 Pages
ISBN 9780415713054 - CAT# Y155608
Series: Development in Practice Books


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This collection adds to a burgeoning literature concerned with the roles played by religions in development. The authors do not assume that religion and religious organisations can be ‘used’ to achieve development objectives, or that religiously inspired development work is more holistic, transformative and authentic. Instead, they subject such assumptions to critical and (as far as possible) objective scrutiny, focusing on how adherents of several religious traditions and a variety of organisations affiliated with different religions perceive the idea of development and attempt to contribute to its objectives. Geographically, chapters in the volume encompass Africa, South Asia and the Asia-Pacific.

Four of the papers have an international focus: providing a preliminary framework for analysing the role of religion in development, considering the roles played by faith-inspired organisations in two regions (the Asia Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa) and analysing transnational Muslim NGOs. The individual case studies focus on nine countries (India, Kenya, Pakistan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan, Malawi, Sri Lanka, South Africa), consider four religions (Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism), and can be grouped under four themes: they consider religion, wellbeing and inequality; the roles of religious NGOs in development; whether and how religious organisations influence, respond to or resist social change; and whether religious service providers reach the poor. Finally, practice notes show how three religious development organisations try to put their principles into practice.

This book was published as a special double issue of Development in Practice.

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