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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Religion and Development (PGSP11347)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPostgrad (School of Social and Political Studies) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionAfter decades of the exclusion of religion from development discourse and analyses, the last ten years has seen religion rehabilitated as an important concept and variable in the understanding and implementation of social change and progress. The debate on the issue is really vibrant and academics, researchers, policy makers and practitioners started to reflect on this topic and a new field has emerged, Religion and Development (RaD). This course aims to reflect on this new field in order to investigate implications of working with religion in development theory and in development in practice. Why has religion been excluded by mainstream development and now rehabilitated? What special contributions does working with Faith-based Organisations bring? How different are FBOs from secular NGOs? How can religious beliefs hinder development work and when are they fundamental for the successful implementation of development projects? All these are questions that the course will try to address.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
The course will help students develop their capacity to identify issues and problems relating to the study of religious ideas and religious actors in development and strengthens the ability to contribute to the resolution of issues and problems related to working with faith-based organisations. Specifically, at the end of the course students will:

¿ Have a critical understanding of the theories, concepts and principles in the nascent field of Religion and Development
¿ Have an understanding of the history and influential debates surrounding the field
¿ Develop familiarity with the terminology and classification of faith-inspired development interventions
¿ Develop investigative and analytical skills in order to understand the complexity of working with comparative religions in different parts of world
¿ Gain an extensive and detailed understanding of the key-issues that differentiate faith-inspired interventions from ¿secular¿ non-governmental action.
¿ Be able to apply knowledge to critically assess the work of faith-based organisations
Assessment Information
The course is assessed by the following:

- 10% of the course grade will be awarded for individual student¿s presentation (with power point slides). This usually will be 10-15 minutes long and it will be based on the analysis of a specific FBO¿s development project.

- 90% for a 4,000-word essay. The essay will focus on the analysis of existing literature in the field of Religion and Development.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Week one: Religion and Development: history of a new field
This week will offer a general overview of modernisation theory and secularisation in order to offer a theoretical framework for understanding the exclusion of religion from mainstream development for decades

Week two: Working with different religious traditions: Islam, Christianity and Hinduism
This week will offer an understanding of the ways in which religious traditions might approach wealth, poverty and economic growth

Week three: Faith-based Organisations (FBOs)
This week will investigate religious actors involved in development and it will offer an understanding of the complex classification of these actors

Week four: FBOs and NGOs in a comparative perspective
This week will provide a comparative analysis between organisations inspired by faith and secular organisations involved in development, trying to highlight differences and similarities in their performance.

Week five: Religion, Gender and Development
This week will provide a reflection on the relation between religion and gender, which has been particularly sensitive with religions frequently supporting values and practices that discriminate between men and women.

Week six: Innovative Learning Week (no lecture/seminar)

Week seven: Religion and Health
This week will focus on understanding how religious beliefs can hinder or support health development projects. In particular we will focus on the analysis of a few specific case studies.

Week eight: Religion and Human Rights
This week will specifically consider the role that religions can contribute towards the incorporation of human rights in development.

Week nine: Religion and Peace-Building
This week will provide a reflection on the role that religious organisations can play in divided societies and in peace-building processes. In particular the focus will be on specific case studies.

Week ten: Religion and Environment
This week will assess the way religious traditions are considered to provide frameworks for environmental ethics and to support the view that nature should be treated with respect.

Week eleven: Working in FBOs: a testimony
This week we will host a few practitioners working in FBOs. This will allow students to engage and consider practical issues while working with FBOs.
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Bompani B. and Frahm-Arp M. (2010), Development and Politics from Below, Exploring Religious Spaces in the African State, Palgrave-MacMillan, London (2010)

Clarke G. & Jennings M. (2008) Development, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organisations. Bridging the Sacred and the Secular

Bornstein E. (2003) The spirit of development: Protestant NGOs, morality, and economics in Zimbabwe

Marshall K. & Van Saanen M. (2007), Development and Faith. Where Mind, Heart, and Soul Work Together

Deneulin S. and Bano M. (2009) Religion in Development: Rewriting the Secular Spirit, Zed Books.

Tyndale W.R. (2006), Visions of Development. Faith-Based Initiatives

Ter Haar G. (2011) Religion and Development: Ways of Transforming the World

Lunn J. (2009) ¿The Role of Religion, Spirituality and Faith Development¿ in Third World Quarterly, vol. 30 n. 5, pp. 937-951 [online]

Yahya, M. (2007) ¿Polio Vaccines ¿ ¿No Thank You¿ Barriers to Polio Eradication in Northern Nigeria¿ in African Affairs, vol 106, n. 423, pp. 185-204 [online]

Benedetti C. (2006) ¿Islamic and Christian Inspired Relief NGOs: Between Tactical Collaboration and Strategic Diffidence?¿ in Journal of International Development, vol. 18, pp. 849-859

Benthall J. (2006) ¿Islamic Aid in a north Malian enclave¿ in Anthropology Today, vol. 22, n. 4

Berger, J. (2003), ¿Religious Non-governmental Organisations: An exploratory Analysis¿ in Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organisations, vol. 14, n.1, pp. 15-39

Clarke G. (2006) ¿Faith Matters: Faith-based Organisations, Civil Society and International Development¿ in Journal of International Development, vol.18, pp. 835-848

Hearn J. (2002), ¿The ¿invisible NGO: US Evangelical Missions in Kenya¿ in Journal of Religion in Africa, vol. 32 n.1

Tyndale W. (2000) ¿Faith and Economics in ¿development¿: a bridge across the chasm?¿ in Development in Practice, vol. 10, n. 1, pp. 9-18

Ter Haar G. & Ellis S. (2006) ¿The Role of Religion in Development: Towards a New Relationship between the European Union and Africa¿ in The European Journal of Development Research, vol. 18 n.3, pp. 351-367

Wuthnow R. & Lewis V. (2008), ¿Religion and Altruistic US Foreign Policy Goals: Evidence from a National Survey of Church Members¿ in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 47, n. 2, pp. 191-209
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern The course is based on the format: an hour lecture followed by an hour seminar.

Lectures will be divided into two blocks, the first block will address theories and history of development studies and their relation to religion, it will provide an overview of religious traditions towards development approaches; it will offer an analysis of religious actors involved in development; the second block will focus on the analysis of specific case studies; the relation between religion and health; religion and human rights; religion and gender; religion and environment; religion and peace-building.
Most of the lectures will be delivered by the course convenors although each year there will be a couple of guest lectures who will offer an analysis of specific case studies (i.e. Religion and Health; Religion and Human Rights) and a lecture with practitioners working in FBOs. This will offer a more practical insight into the course topic.
Each week the seminar will start with students¿ presentation and it will be followed by a class discussion on the topic of the lecture. Students will deliver a short power point presentation (10-15 minutes). The presentation will offer a critical assessment of a development project run by a FBO in a Global South context. In the group discussion students will engage with RaD readings and online material (grey literature and material produced by religious development agencies; i.e. FBOs¿ documents, blogs, policy documents, websites etc.) related to the lecture.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Barbara Bompani
Tel: (0131 6)51 3891
Course secretaryMiss Lindsay Hunter
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659
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