Resilience and religion during crisis – What humanitarian aid can learn from the personal stories of Ebola survivors

In humanitarian aid there is often a strong focus on the biomedical angle of disease, as we can see right now in the Ebola crisis in West Africa. However, the role of religion should not be underestimated, as scholarly research and media indicate that religious beliefs and practices can have a positive influence on prevention …

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Is it really “inconceivable”? Reimagining the role of religion in promoting gender equality

Gender and feminism seem to be gaining attention again in the broader global public sphere. Religion – as a concept and as representative of broad traditions of belief and theology - has frequently had a problematic relationship with both of these concepts and frameworks. But they are not the natural enemies that they are often …

Levelling the playing field: Development, religion and the entanglement of social and personal transformation

Stories of transformation in development contexts tend to be separated into secular narratives of social transformation, and religious narratives of personal transformation. Yet, as Brenda Bartelink and Erin Wilson discuss in today’s post, reflections from people living in these contexts suggest this division is an artificial imposition that makes little sense of daily lived realities… …

The Neoliberalization of Youth Peacebuilding

As part of our series on human rights for Human Rights Week, in today’s post Erik Meinema investigates how the neoliberal context in which NGOs and peacebuilding organizations operate influence their capacity to protect and promote human rights through contributing to peacebuilding processes around the globe. The neoliberalisation of peacebuilding, he argues, leads to an …

Is the ‘new’ religious engagement really all that new? The need for reflection on the underlying values and assumptions in the engagement with religion

In this post, Brenda Bartelink draws on her research on faith based development organisations in the Netherlands and Uganda, and Dutch initiatives to engage with religion to raise some critical points for reflection on the new US Office for Faith-Based Community Initiatives . Following on from last week’s post on this new office,  she points …

The Homo Economicus and transnational religious networks in a post-secular society

Last week,  Prof. Manuel A. Vasquez gave a guest lecture on “Conceptualizing domination and resistance in transnational religious networks” at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies in Groningen. Here Ella Sebamalai engages with the ideas he raised and applies them to practical contexts, in particular faith-based organisations in the contemporary Sri Lankan context. In his …

Transnational faith based development and the post secular experiment

In her blog-post on the Religion Factor, Cecelia Lynch discusses FBOs in the context of the neoliberal competition on the ‘market’ of international development. In my work on and with development FBOs in the Netherlands I see this illustrated. Changes in government funding for development organizations, has created a highly competitive market in which religious …