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Religious studies and development: a literature review

Tomalin, Emma (2007) Religious studies and development: a literature review. Working Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

PDF - Published Version

URL of Published Version: http://www.religionsanddevelopment.org/files/resourcesmodule/@random454f80f60b3f4/1202734412_WP6.pdf

Identification Number/DOI: ISBN: 0704425653/ 9780704425651


This literature review will begin with a section on method and theory in religious studies. Although the Religions and Development research programme is concerned with the intersection between religion and development, it has not been conceived as a 'religious studies' project per-se. However, the debates around method and theory that have occurred within the discipline do offer useful insights into the issues that arise when deciding how to study people's religious beliefs and practices. While religious studies scholars employ many of the same methodological and analytical tools as scholars in other disciplines, an important focus within method and theory discussions has been the viability of religious studies as a separate discipline. The contours of this discussion are of interest to this programme because they address the key issue of what it is to study 'religion' as a non-believer or outsider. The first part of this paper therefore provides a discussion of the broader theoretical and epistemological concerns of research religion, and the consequences for various interdisciplinary approaches. In the second part of the paper, we turn to look at some of the ways in which religious studies scholars have investigated the influence of religious values and organisations upon social, economic and political change in developing countries. In addition, the main focus of this review will be on regions of specific interest to the RaD programme, namely sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Public Policy
Number of Pages:43
Department:International Development Department, Department of Theology and Religious Studies
Projects:Religions and Development Research Programme
Series/Collection Name:RaD Working Papers Series
Keywords:Religious Studies, Religion, Development
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Related URLs:
Copyright Status:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1533

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