UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

SOCS4001 Religion and Development

Credit 6 points
  Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Not available in 2017UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours option in Political Science and International Relations [Bachelor of Arts (Honours)]
Content Arguably, religion and development are inseparable because the ways people use land, distribute resources, and envision a good life are shaped by their broader views of the cosmos and their place within it. Since the axial age, moreover, religious traditions have addressed themselves to problems of injustice and inequality emergent in complex urban societies. Until recently, however, development studies has been an unabashedly secular field. In this unit, students query the secularity of modern ideologies of development, and examine the theories and practices of development embedded in major and minor religious traditions. They also examine the re-engagement between secular institutions focused on development and what have come to be known as 'faith-based organisations' (FBOs) and are often envisioned as better vehicles for service delivery than state institutions. In research essays and analytical essays, students apply theories of religion and development to bear on specific case studies drawn from Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. In written and oral work, students examine the role of religion in development, considering the convergence and conflict between secular and spiritual means and ends.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) critically evaluate the conflicts and convergences among religious and secular approaches to development; (2) apply theories of religion and development to case studies; (3) discuss approaches to development and wellbeing in religious traditions; and (4) improve written and oral communication skills.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) an essay; (2) an analytical exercise; (3) an examination; and (4) participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s) Dr Debra McDougall
Unit rules
Advisable prior study: BP001 Bachelor of Arts (major in Anthropology and Sociology, Political Science, History)
Contact hours seminars: 20 hours
Texts

The following texts are indicative only:

Barnett, M. N. and Stein, J. G., eds Sacred Aid: Faith and Humanitarianism: OUP 2012

Benthall, J. and Bellion-Jourdan, J., eds The Charitable Crescent: Politics of Aid in the Muslim World: I. B. Tauris 2003

Clarke, M., ed. Handbook of Research on Development and Religion: Edger Elkin 2013

Marshall, K. Global Institutions of Religion: Ancient Movers, Modern Shakers: Routledge 2013


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