Yazar : Gerard Clarke

Development, civil society and faith-based organizations: bridging the sacred and the secular

Since the 1990s, civil society has been a significant locus of concern in development studies, but this concern has been noticeable for its neglect of religion and faith and their role in international development. This collection uses the analytical lens of faith-based organizations (FBOs) to redress this gap. Development policymakers, practitioners and academics have little understanding of FBOs, seeing them as exclusive and chauvinistic organizations. Moreover, the secularism of the North, with its traditional separation between church and state, has underpinned development policy and practice of North America and Western Europe. Focusing on Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and examining the work of Christian, Islamic and Hindu organizations, this book argues that FBOs are, in fact, important stakeholders in the development enterprise. FBOs are crucial in managing international aid, they provide services including health and education, they advocate and support human rights, and they uphold ideals of democratic governance. Arguing that faith communities will be central to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, this study overturns previous perceptions of the role of religion and its impact on civil society. Includes a preface by Lord George Carey. International aid and development is increasingly channelled through religious groups and this collection examines the role that these faith-based organisations play in managing international aid, providing services, such as health and education, defending human rights and protecting democracy.