On the Significance of Religion for the SDGs An Introduction
This timely volume addresses the rising interest in the role of religion in global issues worldwide. The ambitious Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) serve as the framework for this exploration, discussing questions such as:
- What role does religion play in poverty and poverty alleviation?
- How does religion inspire people in combatting gender inequality?
- What is religion’s role in fueling conflict and which resources can religion offer for peace and reconciliation?
Based on the conviction that not one single faith tradition or discipline can adequately address the complexity of current global issues, this book brings in the perspectives of different faith traditions and different disciplines.
Combining cutting-edge research with case studies and concrete implications for academics, policymakers, and practitioners, this concise and easily accessible volume helps to build bridges between these different actors and their engagement. It serves as the introductory volume to the series, Religion Matters: On the Significance of Religion in Global Issues.
The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.
The Rise of Religion in Development – Background and Current Trends
1. Religion Matters – Rediscovering Religion
2. The Sustainable Development Goals and Religion – The Rise of Faith Actors in Development
3. Meet the Family – Religion’s Different Faces in Development
4. What’s So Special about Them? Potentials and Problems of Faith Actors in Development
Religion and the SDGs
5. “It Is Not God’s Will for Us to Be Poor!” Religion Matters for Poverty Alleviation (SDG 1 and 2)
SPOTLIGHT: A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ON PENTECOSTAL POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN SOUTH AFRICA (PETER WHITE)
6. “Holistic Healing”– Religion Matters for Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3)
SPOTLIGHT: MULTI-RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVES ON RESPONDING TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC (AZZA KARAM)
7. “Largest and Most Successful Education Provider … Outside of Public Education Systems” – Religion Matters for Quality Education (SDG 4)
SPOTLIGHT: A BUDDHIST PERSPECTIVE ON WISDOM AND HUMAN VALUES IN EDUCATION IN MALAYSIA (WENDY YEE MEI TIEN)
8. “Your Women, Let Them Be Silent in the Assemblies”– Religion Matters for Gender Equality (SDG 5)
SPOTLIGHT: A MUSLIM PERSPECTIVE ON GENDER EQUALITY AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS (VAWG) (SANDRA IMAN PERTEK)
9. “I Have a Dream”– Religion Matters for the Reduction of Inequality (SDG 10)
SPOTLIGHT: A JEWISH PERSPECTIVE ON DEMOCRACY AND MINORITY RIGHTS IN ISRAEL (PAULINE KOLLONTAI)
10. “Green Religion”– Religion Matters for Climate Action (SDG 13)
SPOTLIGHT: AN INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVE ON TRADITIONAL ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE AND CLIMATE CHANGE (JOHN C. RODWAN)
11. “Brokers of Peace”– Religion Matters for Peace and Justice (SDG 16)
SPOTLIGHT: A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ON RECONCILIATION AND FORGIVENESS AFTER THE RWANDAN GENOCIDE (CHRISTOPHE MBONYINGABO)
12. Now What? Implications for Academics, Policymakers, and Practitioners
"Religion Matters makes a forceful case that a deeply embedded consideration of religious approaches to development thinking and action needs to be a central part of the international development landscape. Primarily through the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the analysis focuses on both strengths and weaknesses that the myriad of religious institutions and communities bring to specific challenges. It offers well thought-out-frameworks to help policymakers as they navigate the complex religious worlds that include both powerful core ideas and fodder for ample controversy and, more hopefully, dialogue."
Katherine Marshall, Senior Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University, USA; Executive Director, World Faiths Development Dialogue
"This book highlights the important role that religion can play in achieving the SDGs as well as some of the pitfalls. It combines social science and theological approaches with ‘spotlights’ on particular topics from practitioners in the field to underscore the fact that religion matters for development and needs to be taken seriously. In contrast to many other texts in this field, the contributors are all ‘insider voices’ and ‘imminent critics’ of the faith traditions they write about. This volume, therefore, brings a fresh approach for academics, policymakers, and practitioners interested in the relationships between religion and the SDGs."
Emma Tomalin, Professor of Religion and Public Life, University of Leeds, UK
"This book seeks to build bridges across the secular-religious divide and between the different spheres of engagement in development, including academics, policymakers, and practitioners. The authors develop this aim in two parts: Part 1: The rise of religion and development and Part 2: Religion and the sustainable development goals. The book engages these two topics in 12 chapters from many different religious perspectives making it a wonderful example of interreligious dialogue and putting the spotlight on many different contentious and contested issues around the globe. This kind of collaborative form of research on religion and development gives expression to an African (isiXhosa) saying: "The bird builds its nest by using other birds"."
Ian Nell, Professor of Practical Theology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
"The issue of the relationship between religion and the SDGs is a crucial topic, not least because the influence of the former may be crucial in achieving the latter. In this volume, Christine Schliesser analyses the role of religion in the SDGs. The book is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the role of religion in development and should be of particular interest to students and the general reader."
Jeffrey Haynes, Emeritus Professor of Politics, London Metropolitan University, UK
"Religion is embedded in every expression of human culture around the globe and, in spite of increasing secularism, religion continues to be a major influence for the vast majority of people in the world today. So, if we are to achieve the ambition of the Agenda 2030 with the 17 SDGs, it’s essential to consider religion in every aspect of development. This book provides an excellent introduction for policymakers and practitioners, it builds bridges across the secular-religious divide and encourages faith communities to work together to address complex issues."
Tony Macaulay, Northern Ireland author, leadership consultant, peace builder and broadcaster
"This book comprises of recent advancements in development theory and practice. It embraces vital discussions on gender equality, poverty, inequality, peace and justice, all of which are fundamental in understanding the significance of religion in development. These discourses take place in a network of global dialogue, involving voices from various faith traditions."
Auli Vähäkangas, Professor in Practical Theology, University of Helsinki, Finland