Recent debates concerning religion and development have adopted anthropological concepts in the quest to develop new and exploratory ways in which the relationship might be understood. This article is the first of three articles which discusses the problems of integrating anthropological knowledge and approaches within the current religion and development discussion. Particularly problematic for the debate has been the role of gender in fostering development through religion. As an initial case study the article examines recent development policy concerns with ‘Islam, transnationalism and violence against women’ as an instance which points to unresolved tensions surrounding the academic role of development studies, and where anthropological analyses of transnationalism may assist in a reorientation for development theory which can no longer perpetuate a North-South focus.
Progress in Development Studies (2011) 11 (1) 69-76 [doi: 10.1177/146499341001100105]