Religious contributions to development issues

Authored by: Katherine Marshall

Routledge Handbook of Development Ethics

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138647909
eBook ISBN: 9781315626796
Adobe ISBN:


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Religious teachings and practices are interwoven in approaches to development issues in countless ways. The links are often ignored or misunderstood but awareness of the continuing significance of religious identities and institutions across world regions challenges assumptions that these decline with modernization. Highlighting “religion” as a specific category can, however, obscure the complexities both of religious beliefs and institutions and their relationships to the web of development ideas and actions. Critical approaches that recognize wide diversity among religious traditions and their interplay with other facets of social, economic, and political affairs are essential in assessing the significance of religious factors for development ethics. Exploring specific issues highlights the diverse religious dimensions of ethical debates around development approaches and topics. For several contentious issues in development practice, for example reproductive and sexual rights, both perceptions and realities of religious approaches have an especially significant impact on debates and practice, but religious beliefs and institutions are pertinent in exploring ethical dimensions of virtually any development issue.

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