The values and attitudes associated with different religious beliefs affect both public policy settings as well as social behaviours. Yet, within development studies literature and practice, the importance of religion and faith has been largely ignored or misunderstood. This book argues that the development space is of central importance to facilitate access to development activities but also to ensure participation of those that are the primary beneficiary of the development intervention. Development is most efficient when it is located at the community level and is community lead and implemented. As a result of the social and individual influence of religion and religious practice, the development space and sacred place become intertwined thus making necessary the need to reject the sacred/secular dichotomy popular within mainstream development theory and practice. The book considers both the theory of 'space' as a component of successful development interventions and expands this analysis to consider the specific role that sacred places - buildings and social networks - have in planning, implementing and promoting development activities.
A series of case studies considers various sacred places as sites for development activities. These case studies include Christian churches in Vanuatu, Buddhist Wats in Thailand, Islamic Mosques in Indonesia, Catholic Churches in the Philippines, and Hindu Temples in India. Each of these case studies explores how the physical buildings associated with the different religions plays dual role of a sacred place as well as a development space. This book provides much-needed exploration of the intersection between development and religion that covers all the major world religions for postgraduate students and researchers in development studies, religious studies and social geography.
Religions and Development in Asia by Anna Halaloff; Matthew Clarke was published by Taylor & Francis Ltd in May 2016. The ISBN for Religions and Development in Asia is 9781138792364.