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Idealism and Practicality: The role of religion in development

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Wendy Tyndale looks at religious groups, movements or communities working at the grassroots, very often at a distance from the leaders or institutions of their traditions. She takes as examples movements which show the effectiveness of faith as an inspiration and guide for work to improve life for the poor. These are different from faith-based NGOs, which, depending as they do on sources of funding from the West, tend to be influenced to a greater degree by the views of professional western/secular development practitioners. She delves into some of the difficulties of the relationship between religion and the mainstream development thinking in order to show the commonalities of both ‘idealism’ and pragmatism on both sides of the divide.Development (2003) 46, 22–28. doi:10.1057/palgrave.development.1110486

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1WFDD, Elmield House, University of Birmingham, UK

Publication date: 2003-12-01

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