The Role of Religion in Development: Towards a New Relationship between the European Union and Africa – Haar and Ellis.

The article looks into the relationship between development and religion and discusses influences such as conflict, peace building and governance amongst others.  A well rounded case is built informing readers about the complexities of the combining religion and development.

Before reading the article I had limited knowledge on the topic and therefore found it insightful. The article made me realise that relgion as a tool for development in Africa is not straightforward due to the complexity and variation of religious groups across the continent. Using Christian or Islamic organisations will not appeal to the majority of citizens who practice ‘indiginious’ religions.

One of the most interesting areas of the article was the discussion about armed conflicts and the issues they posed on development. The argument was made that “the power attributed to religious experts is considered morally ambivalent, in the sense that their supposed spiritual power can be used both to harm and to heal.” This idea for me, was relevant to many issues of religious conflict that are occurring across the world today, not only in sub-saharan Africa. 

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