Faith-based institutions are getting involved in economic development programmes, including microfinance, and many foreign donors are looking to religious organizations for new ways to reach the poorest people. This book considers the work of a number of these, of different faiths, and asks what is 'special' about them. Do religious links make these organizations more or less effective? Should spiritual development and economic upliftment be kept apart? Development, Divinity and Dharma explores these questions by examining a number of Hindu, Christian and Muslim institutions in India and in Pakistan. Its main focus is the Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development programme, which though little known outside south India, has changed the lives of almost half a million people, including Hindus, Muslims and Christians, through social and economic development programmes which are motivated by religious faith.
Table of Contents
Prelims (Contents, Figures, Tables, Boxes, Acknowledgements, About the authors, List of abbreviations)
2. Religion and development - can they go together?
3. How does religion affect the ‘BINGOs’?
4. Dakshin Kannada and Dharmasthala Temple
5. SKDRDP, the rural development programme
8. The sevanirathas
9. Two cases of success
10. The results of SKDRDP’s work; What explains SKDRDP’s success?
11. Islamic development practice
12. Christian development practice and some examples
“The work of thousands of religious people, who are inspired to work for others, is a widespread natural phenomenon. The pioneering work Development, Divinity and Dharma will hopefully entail an awakening in this field.” Michael Van den Bogaert S.J. Xavier Institute of Development Action and Studies, Orissa, India “There is more to spirituality than salvation. This book can change the way you think of religion and its contribution to improving the material world around us.” Dr D. Veerendra Heggade Dharmadhikari, Dharmasthala, India “Dr Harper and his colleagues remind us that long before microfinance was coveted as an emerging market religious organizations worked to mitigate the ravages of inequity through innovation and perhaps the world’s first customer oriented service ethic. Faith based development schemes work directly offering an economic ladder out of the depths of poverty, not just a bowl of rice and a prayer.” Bill Maddocks Director, Microenterprise Development Institute, Southern New Hampshire University, USA