Development and Religion: Theology and Practice

Clarke, Matthew
Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, Cheltenham, UK, 2011, ISBN: 978-1848445840, 224 pp.
Reviewed by or other comment: 

Rick James
Principal Consultant, INTRAC

This is a book I have been waiting for. All development practitioners, not just those working directly with faith-based organisations, need greater understanding of how each of the world's major religions understands and influences development. As Katherine Marshall points out in her foreword: ‘Matthew Clarke's book is an important contribution to the much needed effort to provide a foundation of what might be called “faith literacy”’.

Eighty per cent of the world's population are said to profess religious faith. Indeed, studies reveal that this religiosity is increasing. Given this statistic, it seems remarkable that religious beliefs have been ignored in mainstream development paradigms and by development practitioners for so long. While many so-called development specialists might be agnostic about the role of religion, their intended recipients clearly are not.

The full book review is available here: