The Religious Dimension in Development Studies
Keywords:international development studies, religious studies
Religion, spirituality and faith are themes gaining interest and prominence in the field of development studies. This “religious turn in development” (Pearson and Tomalin 2008, 49) has gone largely unnoticed by religious studies scholars. The range of current publications on the topic is not produced by self-identified religion scholars. I wish to give an overview of this nascent topic for study in order to suggest how the acumen of religious studies scholars might engage it. I will first make some remarks about the field of international development in order to locate challenges within the ‘religious turn’ within the current IDS discourse. I wish to conclude with some proposals for studying the religious dimensions of international development.
Berger, Peter. 2005. “Religion and Global Civil Society,” In Religion in Global Civil Society. edited by Mark Juergensmeyer, 11-22. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bornstein, Erica. 2002.“Developing Faith: Theologies of Economic Development in Zimbabwe.” Journal of Religion in Africa 32/1: 4-31.
Bruce, Steve. 2006. "Secularization." In The Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion, edited by Robert Segal, 413-429. Malden: Blackwell.
Casanova, José. 1994. Public Religions in the Modern World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
-----. 2007. “Rethinking Secularization: A Global Comparative Perspective." In Religion, Globalization and Culture, edited by Peter Beyer and Lori Beaman. 101-20. Leiden: Brill.
Canadian Christian Relief and Development Association. 2008. “Keeping the Faith: A Multi-Faith Dialogue on Spirituality and International Development in the Current Global Context.” Ottawa, May 6-7.
Clarke, Gerard. 2008. “Faith-Based Organizations and International Development: An Overview,” In Development, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organizations: Bridging the Sacred and the Secular, edited by Gerard Clarke and Michael Jennings, 17-45. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Clarke, Gerard and Michael Jennings, eds. 2008. Development, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organizations: Bridging the Sacred and the Secular. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Department for International Development. 2009. “Eliminating Poverty: Building Our Common Future,” July. Available at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.dfid.gov.uk/documents/whitepaper/building-our-common-future.pdf
James, Rick. 2009. “What is distinctive about FBOs?” INTRAC Praxis Paper 22, 13 March 2009. Available at:
Ghandi, Mohandas Karamchand. 1997. “Does economic progress clash with real progress?” In Hind Swaraj and Other Writings, edited by Anthony J. Parel, 156-163. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gunnemann, Jon P. 2005. “Property and Sacred Ordering in Global Civil Society,” In Religion in Global Civil Society, edited by Mark Juergensmeyer, 91-113. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Harris, Sam. 2004. The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason. New York: Norton.
Harrison, Lawrence P. 1985. Underdevelopment is a State of Mind: the Latin American Case. Lanham: Center for International Affairs, Harvard University and University Press of America.
Hirschman, Albert O. 1981. “The Rise and Decline of Development Economics,” in Essays in Trespassing: Economics to Politics and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hitchens, Christopher. 2007. God is not Great: How Religion Ruins Everything. Toronto: McLennan & Stuart.
Lunn, Jenny. 2009.“The Role of Religion, Spirituality and Faith in Development: A Critical Theory Approach.” Third World Quarterly Jul 30/5: 937-951.
Manji, Firoz, and Carl O”Coill. 2002. “The Missionary Position: NGOs and Development in Africa.” International Affairs 78/3: 567-83.
Narayan, Deepa and Patti Petesch, eds. 2002.Voices of the Poor: from Many Lands. Washington, D.C.: Oxford University Press and World Bank.
Pearson, Ruth and Emma Tomalin. 2008. “Intelligent Design?: A Gender-Sensitive Interrogation of Religion and Development.” In Development, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organizations: Bridging the Sacred and the Secular, edited by Gerard Clarke and Michael Jennings, 46-71. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Reinikka, Ritva and Jakob Svensson. 2003. “Working for God? Evaluating Service Delivery of Religious Not-for-Profit Health Care Providers in Uganda.” World Bank, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3058, May 20 2003, Available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=636420.
Rostow, Walter. 1961.The Stages of Economic Growth. London: Cambridge University Press.
South African Regional Poverty Network. 2009. “SARPN Consultative Meeting to Enhance Awareness on the Work of Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) in Poverty Reduction and the Mdgs in the SADC Region.” Activity concept paper. 30 November. Available at: http://www.sarpn.org.za:documents:d0001744:index.php
Sen, Amartya. 1999. Development as Freedom. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Sherman, Amy L. 1997. The Soul of Development. New York: Oxford University Press.
Stark, Rodney. 2005. The Rise of Mormonism. New York: Columbia University Press.
-----. 2006. “Economics of Religion,” In The Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion, edited by Robert A. Segal, 47-67. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.
Thomas, Scott M. 2005. The Global Resurgence of Religion and the Transformation of International Relations. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Truman, Harry S. “President Truman's Inaugural Address.” Truman Library, 20 January 1949, Available at:
Tyndale, Wendy R. ed. 2006.Visions of Development: Faith-Based Initaitives. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.
ver Beek, Kurt Alan. 2002. “Spirituality: a Development Taboo," In Development and Culture, edited by Deborah Eade 60-77. London: Oxfam Great Britain.
Verhelst, Thierry and Wendy Tyndale. 2002. “Cultures, Spirituality, and Development.” In Development and Culture, edited by Deborah Eade, 1-24. London: Oxfam Great Britain.
World Faiths’ Development Dialogue. 1999. “Papers presented by Faiths' Delegates at the Consultation on the World Bank's World Development Report 2000:1 on the themes of Values, Norms and Poverty,” Occasional Paper No. 2, Johannesburg, January 12-14. Available at: http://siteresources.worldbank.org:DEVDIALOGUE:Resources:WFDD1999.pdf
Wilber, Charles and Kenneth Jameson. 1980. “Religious Values and Social Limits to Development.” World Development 8/1: 476-79.