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Syllabus Religion and Development - 59536

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Last update 20-09-2015
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: glocal community development studies

Semester: 2nd Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Dr. Yonatan N. Gez

Coordinator Email:

Coordinator Office Hours: By appointment

Teaching Staff:
Dr. Yonathan Gez

Course/Module description:
In the domain of international development, religion has often been regarded as a conservative hindrance to social progress, and religious worldviews have come to be associated with challenges they pose to development in terms of both aims and practice. This is despite, or precisely because, of the longstanding involvement of religious organization in development, as well as the various points of similarity between development and religious visions and pursuits. In recent years, such links enjoy growing acknowledgment, and the role of religion within development is reassessed and reasserted.

Course/Module aims:
The course will explore the often uneasy and fascinating relations between the domains of religion and development, broadly defined. Some of the course topics will include the history of relations between religion and development, the work of Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) as providers of development services, religion as both a challenge and inspiration for development theory and practice, and various dilemmas concerning sensitivity towards religious beliefs in the context of development practice. We will draw on concrete case studies from Africa and around the world, involving Abrahamic (mainly Christian), Eastern, and indigenous religious traditions.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
Assess the challenges and contributions that religious beliefs offer to the implementation of development projects
Develop sensitivity towards the place of religious worldviews in devising development interventions, and explore how to integrate local communities belief systems
Question mainstream development perspectives in light of religiously-informed alternatives, and consider the relevance of spiritual aims and accomplishments within wider, holistic perspectives
Explore relations between religion and development from an international perspective, looking at organizational ties and key documents
Critically reflect on the work of Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs)
Familiarize oneself with case studies from around the world, and develop a personal project on a theme of ones choice, practicing presentation and essay writing skills

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: Lectures (accompanied by visual aids and videos), participatory discussions, student presentations

Course/Module Content:
The course will be divided into four sections:
1. Introductions (example themes: from economic development to human development; religion versus development points of convergence? Is development a form of modern religion?)
2. Religion as an agent of development (example themes: The history of relations between religion and development; religion within international development discourse; Christian missions as providers of development; Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) and their role in international development).
3. Specific case studies (example themes: Catholicism: The case of Laudato Si; Protestantism: Pentecostal/Evangelical prosperity teachings; Buddhism: The engaged Buddhism movement; Jainism and the Bishnoism; indigenous religious traditions in Africa and Latin America).
4. Students presentations and conclusions

Required Reading:
Bornstein, Erica. 2002. "Developing Faith: Theologies of Economic Development in Zimbabwe." Journal of Religion in Africa 32 (1):4-31.
Comaroff, Jean, and John Comaroff. 2000. "Privatizing the millenium; New protestant ethics and the spirits of capitalism in Africa, and elsewhere." Afrika Spectrum 35:293-312.
Fountain, Philip. 2013. "The Myth of Religious NGOs : Development Studies and the Return of Religion." International Development Policy 4 (1):9-30.
Francis, Pope. 2015. Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home. The Vatican: Vatican Press.
Freeman, Dena. 2012. "The Pentecostal Ethic and the Spirit of Development." In Pentecostalism and Development: Churches, NGOs and Social Change in Africa, edited by Dena Freeman, 1-40. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Haynes, Jeffrey. 2013. "Faith-based Organisations, Development and the World Bank." International Development Policy 4 (1):49-64.
Marshall, Katherine. 2013. "Revisiting the Religious Revival in Development: A Critique of Philip Fountain." International Development Policy 4 (1):31-40.

Additional Reading Material:
Bornstein, Erica. 2005. The Spirit of Development: Protestant NGOs, Morality, and Economics in Zimbabwe. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Calderisi, Robert. 2013. Earthly Mission: The Catholic Church and World Development. New Haven; London: Yale University Press.
Clarke, Gerard, and Michael Jennings, eds. 2008. Development, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organizations: Bridging the Sacred and the Secular. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Deneulin, Séverine, and Masooda Bano. 2013. Religion in Development: Rewriting the Secular Script. London; New York, NY: Zed Books.
Freeman, Dena, ed. 2012. Pentecostalism and Development: Churches, NGOs and Social Change in Africa. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Gifford, Paul. 2015. Christianity, Development and Modernity in Africa. London: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers.
Haynes, Jeffrey. 2007. Religion and Development: Conflict or Cooperation? Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kartas, Moncef, and Kalinga Tudor Silva, eds. 2013. Religion and Development, International Development Policy.
Marshall, Katherine, and Marisa Van Saanen. 2007. Development and Faith: Where Mind, Heart, and Soul Work Together. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Meyer, Birgit. 2007. "Pentecostalism and Neo-Liberal Capitalism: Faith, Prosperity and Vision in African Pentecostal-Charismatic Churches." Journal for the Study of Religion 20:5-28.
Rist, Gilbert. 1996. Le développement; Histoire d'une croyance occidentale. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.
Tomalin, Emma. 2013. Religions and Development (Routledge Perspectives on Development). London; New York, NY: Routledge.
Tomalin, Emma, ed. 2015. The Routledge Handbook of Religions and Global Development. Milton Park; New York, NY: Routledge.
Tyndale, Wendy R., ed. 2006. Visions of Development: Faith-based Initiatives. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Limited.
Wariboko, Nimi. 2012. "Pentecostal Paradigms of National Economic Prosperity in Africa." In Pentecostalism and Prosperity: The Socioeconomics of the Global Charismatic movement, edited by Katherine; Attanasi and Amos Yong, 35-58. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Weber, Max. 2002 [1905]. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Translated by Peter Baehr and Gordon C. Wells. New York: Penguin Books.

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 10 %
Participation in Tutorials 10 %
Project work 60 %
Assignments 20 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %

Additional information:
All information here is subject to change
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation.
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.