Faith and the Asylum Crisis: The role of religion in responding to displacement

Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, the DRC. In each of these contexts, and numerous others, complex dynamics around politics, resources, religion and power are contributing to the creation of a global crisis of displacement of unprecedented scale, with a record number of 51.2 million people displaced in 2013.[1] Dominant state-centric modes of asylum and protection …

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 UN Refugee Convention 60 Years On – Time to Rethink Approaches to Protection?

This week marks the 60th anniversary of the coming into force of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Much has changed since the Convention was initially drafted, signed and ratified by states. Increasing globalization, more and more diverse causes of flight and situations requiring protection that often do not fit the …

Humanity in Action: Religion, Human Rights and the Question of Neutrality

In today’s blog post, Brenda Bartelink reflects on aid in humanitarian emergency and disaster situations, drawing attention to how religion and human rights are lived out and practiced amidst the multiple moral frameworks that influence humanitarian practice. From secular perspectives faith based humanitarianism is questioned because of the potential threat it poses to realizing the …

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 …

Manuel A. Vasquez’s response to: “The Homo Economicus and transnational religious networks in a post-secular society”.

In today's post, prof. Manuel A. Vasquez suggests an alternative view to the 'Homo Economicus' in his response to Ella Sebamalai's post on transnational religious networks and faith-based organizations. Rather then calculated rationality, Vasquez argues in favor of a form of contextualized rationality that influences the choices of migrants on both individual and communal level. …