Revisiting Religion: Development Studies Thirty Years On

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

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. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Development
Volume39
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • religion, research methods, secularism, faith-based organizations