Religion in Development: Rewriting the Secular Script


Development practice is full of examples of the importance of religion in the lives of people in developing countries. However, religion has largely remained unexplored in development studies. This book aims to fill that gap. The authors review how religion has been treated in the evolution of development thought, how it has been conceptualised in the social sciences, and highlights the major deficiencies of the assumption of secularism. The book argues that development theory and practice needs to rewrite its dominant script regarding its treatment of religion, a script which has so far been heavily inscribed in the secular tradition. It puts forward an understanding of religions as traditions: that religions rest on central thesis and teachings which never cease to be re-interpreted in the light of the social, political and historical context. In addition to providing a conceptual framework for analysing the role of religion in development, the book provides numerous empirical examples drawn from the Christian and Islamic religious traditions. The book authors are affiliated with the RaD programme.


S. Deneulin and M. Bano. Religion in Development: Rewriting the Secular Script. Zed Books, London, UK (2009) ISBN 9781848130005 (Hardback), 9781848130012 (Paperback)

Religion in Development: Rewriting the Secular Script

Published 1 January 2009