Religion and Development

Katherine Marshall

in Rethinking Religion and World Affairs

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199827978
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933020 | DOI:
Religion and Development

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This chapter argues that while the links between both ideas and practice that touch on religion and development are legion, an exploration of what that really means, intellectually and in practice, is still tentative and quite fragmented. The limitations in systematic investigation of the topic have several explanations. A prime reason is the breadth and complexity of the institutions and issues involved. Special sensitivities around the religion development nexus is another. Perhaps most significant is the historically shaped segmentation of language, relationships, and perspectives among different types of institutions. Despite much overlap and many synergies, the two worlds (development and faith) have largely operated in separate universes, with different institutional, intellectual, and ideological frames. The resulting disconnects and frictions can result in wasted resources and in the kind of tensions that sap will and operational efficiency. They dampen the potential energy and ingenuity that can come from creative partnerships among these different institutions. They matter above all because they represent missed opportunities in the global effort to confront the challenges of global poverty and inequity.

Keywords: religion; development; poverty; inequity

Chapter.  5209 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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