Chapter

Faith in the Machine?

Michael Barnett

in Sacred Aid

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199916023
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950447 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199916023.003.0008
Faith in the Machine?

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This chapter focuses on the relationship between the profane and the sacred and views it in the context of a rationalizing and increasingly pragmatic humanitarianism. It notes the changes that have occurred in emergency relief and volunteerism, and studies the response of humanitarianism to the crisis of faith within the humanitarian sector. It summarizes the main tenets of pragmatism, and then considers the shift of the humanitarian sector to rationalization and pragmatism in order to restore its faith in humanitarian action. The final section of this chapter addresses the question of whether faith and a sense of the sacred can survive a pragmatic humanitarianism.

Keywords: profane; pragmatic humanitarianism; emergency relief; volunteerism; humanitarian sector; main tenets; pragmatism; rationalization

Chapter.  9973 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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