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What would make an Atheist spend a day discussing Faith and Development?

October 19, 2023
Had a good chat last week about one of my enduring hobby-horses: the role of faith in development, and the aid sector’s massive secular blind spot. The conversation was with Christian Aid’s Lila Caballero Sosa, who (with Islamic Relief, the Joint Learning Initiative and the University of Leeds) is putting together a big event on faith and development for next

FoRB and inequality on the grounds of religion or belief: practitioner dilemmas

March 30, 2022
Cathy Shutt, with the second of her two posts (first one here) In my first post I compared key elements of theories of action and change for the two main schools of thought on the links between faith and social change: faith in development and freedom of religion or belief (FoRB).  Here, I examine some of the dilemmas associated with

Tackling Inequality on the grounds of religion or belief: more than ‘add religion and stir’

March 29, 2022
Guest post by Cathy Shutt Last year the Coalition of Religious Equality and Inclusion in Development  (CREID) contracted me to conduct research in support of mainstreaming inequality on the grounds of religious belief or non-belief in international development. Having taught on ‘faith in development’ for over ten years, I was naturally curious and accepted. Despite being an atheist, I was

6 ways Aid Donors can help harness Religious Giving for Development

June 5, 2018
One of the consequences of writing a blog that covers some off-beat topics is that when someone’s organizing an event on one of them and can’t find qualified speakers, you get invited along to make up the numbers. So it was that I, a lifelong atheist, ended up on a panel at DFID last week on religious giving for development.

Can religion play a role in evidence-obsessed governance strategies? Lessons from Tanzania

March 21, 2018
Next up in the Twaweza series, Aikande Clement Kwayu reflects on the development sector’s blind spot with religion When it comes to social change, religion is a double-edged sword. It can be both a force for good and/or for bad. The world-wide positive contribution by religious organisations in providing public services such as health and education is undisputed.  The role

Why the disconnect between Aid and Buddhism in Myanmar?

December 8, 2017
Back from Myanmar today, and still processing an intense week of conversations. Here’s a first instalment. A week in, I was struck by the gulf between the aid bubble and the deep religiosity of people throughout the country. So I dashed off this vlog on a weekend visit to the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda, in the heart of Yangon. In it

Book Review: Eden 2.0: Climate Change and the Search for a 21st Century Myth, by Alex Evans

July 1, 2016
In his new book, Eden 2.0 (just 68 pages, published today, but currently only available on Kindle, which is bad news for technophobes and tree killers like me, or people who dislike Amazon), Alex Evans asks a question that has been uppermost in every Remainer’s mind in recent days ‘if evidence and rational arguments aren’t enough, then what is?’ He

Why we should be interested in the rise of the Pentecostals

February 23, 2016
Maybe it’s my Latin America background, but I’ve always been fascinated by the rise of evangelical Christianity, and its potential social and political impact. Religion in general is an inexcusable blind spot for a lot of the aid business, and activists are particularly alarmed by the kind of happy clappy Protestant churches who go in for guitars, ecstasy, speaking in

Harnessing religion to improve education in Africa

July 6, 2012

Religion, making babies and 'peak child': brilliant new Hans Rosling video

May 23, 2012

Religion and Development: what are the links? Why should we care?

October 27, 2011

10 Challenges to 'business as usual' for development agencies: FP2P flashback

August 18, 2011