Handbook of Research on Development and Religion
Show Less

Handbook of Research on Development and Religion

Edited by Matthew Clarke

With eighty percent of the world’s population professing religious faith, religious belief is a common human characteristic. This fascinating and highly unique Handbook brings together state-of-the-art research on incorporating religion into development studies.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 16: Religion, conflict and peacebuilding in development

Shawn Teresa Flanigan


A considerable amount of development work takes place in contexts of conflict, both current or past, often with the goal of facilitating recovery from the devastating effects of war. In these settings religion can prove to be a problematic source of tension and a criterion for exclusion, as well as a tool for promoting peace and service. Referred to by Little and Appleby (2004) as ‘the ambivalence of the sacred’ (p. 2), religion has the ability to stimulate militancy on behalf of the other, as well as militancy aimed against the other. In other words, religion may promote intolerance and hatred, but also may encourage tolerance, non-violence and a readiness to appreciate and respect difference (Little and Appleby, 2004). As Coward and Smith (2004) note, ‘Whether upholding universal human rights or denying them to “heretics” or “infidels”, religious actors, of course, always believe that they are doing God’s will and thus serving the common good of humanity, properly understood’ (p. 2). This chapter gives a broad overview of a variety of roles religious actors may play in conflict and peacebuilding. I will begin by briefly discussing the role of religion in sowing or intensifying conflict, as well as how faith promotes peace in a variety of world religions. I will then examine various roles religious actors may play in the peacebuilding context, followed by a discussion of the ways religious identity can create conflict in the practice of service provision by organizations engaged in development work.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.