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Revisiting Religion: Development Studies Thirty Years On

  • Deneulin, Séverine
  • Rakodi, Carole
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    Summary This paper re-assesses the treatment of religion in development studies 30 years after the publication of a special issue of World Development on "Religion and Development". Given the changes in the social and political context, consideration of the subject of religion can no longer be avoided. The paper identifies two implications of this for development studies. First, the assumptions of secularization and secularism that supposedly define the relationships between religion, society, and politics have to be revisited. Second, development studies must recognize that religion is dynamic and heterogeneous. Both development studies and religion are concerned with the meaning of "progress" or a "better life," implying that attention has to be given to social and historical processes of meaning creation, requiring a shift from positivist to interpretivist research methods. The paper concludes by looking at how consideration of religion is transforming development studies.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 45-54

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:1:p:45-54
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    1. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Goulet, Denis, 1980. "Development experts: The one-eyed giants," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 8(7-8), pages 481-489.
    3. Katherine Marshall & Lucy Keough, 2004. "Mind, Heart and Soul in the Fight Against Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14927.
    4. Paldam, Martin, 2001. "Corruption and Religion Adding to the Economic Model," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 383-413.
    5. Tripp,Charles, 2006. "Islam and the Moral Economy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521863773, October.
    6. Pryor, Frederic L., 2007. "The Economic Impact of Islam on Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 1815-1835, November.
    7. Tripp,Charles, 2006. "Islam and the Moral Economy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521682442, October.
    8. Wilber, Charles K. & Jameson, Kenneth P., 1980. "Religious values and social limits to development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 8(7-8), pages 467-479.
    9. Deepa Narayan & Robert Chambers & Meera K. Shah & Patti Petesch, 2000. "Voices of the Poor : Crying Out for Change," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13848.
    10. Noland, Marcus, 2005. "Religion and economic performance," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1215-1232, August.
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