Term Paper: Religions and Development

Pages: 8 (2215 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] The same was the purpose of the invasion f orthodox Serbians in Bosnia against the Muslim. The fact is that Islamic fundamentalists are quite successful in enlisting support from impoverished peoples. They trade promises of housing and food for that support. It is much easier and quicker to trade visible solutions in the form of food and houses than ideals of development. The poor will also buy the ideas of these seducing Muslims, that "the reason for evil is the existence of non-believers" in the outside world. They can and do render these fanatic supporters intolerant of other considerations and ideas. This is subversion, which they sanction, and terrorism is only an offshoot or a co-existence. It disregards economic, social or personal realities - their collective development, improvement and welfare, their families' future, even their own lives. Certain religious practices and tenets may not be justified, but religion or ethicalness cannot be taken out of the framework of total development.

This was the insight of a consultation on world development by various international non-government bodies in 1999. The conclusion was that a new conceptual framework should be adopted by development initiators that openly recognizes the "spiritual, cultural and socil forces" underlying the individual and community identity and development (Baha'i 1999). Reviews of development initiatives have led to a focusing on the very center of human purpose and motivation, i.e., the human spirit, because "nothing short of an awakening of the human spirit can create a desire for true social change and instill in people the confidence that such change is indeed possible (Baha'i).

While the group acknowledges the importance of pragmatic approaching in solving the multiple problems of underdeveloped countries, it cannot eliminate, but must rather enlist, the central role of tapping into the spiritual/moral aspect of human motivation (Bha'I) as the very impulse that implements and insures the social advancement desired by these initiatives. The group reasons that it is only when spiritual/moral principles are truly and fully integrated into the community development activities introduced will self-reliance and human rights be truly fostered.

It holds that religion cannot be eliminated from the work of development, as religion, in a very real sense, provides the foundation of true development. It urges that the work of science should be fused with the insight of religion or faith, rather than contraindicated or one taking over the other.

After all, as the group discovered, that dialogue between the accomplishments of science and the inspiration and direction of religion are crucial to the work of building of human capacity, and those who work to this end, now acknowledge it as the basic purpose of development itself. Development is the work of generations that involves the diffusion and transmission of knowledge and inspiration. Only if and when knowledge is acknowledged and treated as both spiritual and material can religion and science together be viewed and understood as two interacting and cooperating systems of knowledge that will provide the principles whereby people being aided can evolve by themselves. They have to directly participate in the work of development if their well-being must be authentically realized.

On the part of development donors and initiators, placing the generation and application of knowledge at the center of their programs renders it possible to project and later measure the implications of religious values, especially the values they themselves have and use in intervening in alleviating poverty and/or underdevelopment (Baha'i).

This position, therefore, rules that religion is neither hostile, does not prevent or delay the work of true national development. What is needed is a re-assessment of a nation's beliefs and their reasonable consistency with its immediate and ultimate welfare.

Bibliography

Baha'i International. 1999. Values, Norms and Poverty: A Consultation on the World Development Report 2000. South Africa

Bohlin, Sue. 2000. A Short Look at Six World Religions. Texas, USA:

Probe Ministries International

Hilton, Ronald. 2001. Religion and Poverty. (accessed 16:03:03). http://www.standford.edu/group/wais/religion_relandpoverty42501.html

Quaye, Laura. Religion and Poverty. RE Essays. (accessed 16:03:03). http://freeessays.topcities.com/pov.htm

Shah, Parth J. 1998. The Persistence of Poverty in India: Culture or System?

The Freeman, volume 48, number 3. The Foundation for Economic Education.

Shiva, Vandana. Bioethics: a Third World Issue. India: The Edmonds Institute accessed 16:03:03).… [END OF PREVIEW]

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