Religion in development : how is the role and meaning of religion in development interpreted by organization staff and local participants of Norwegian development aid?
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Religion and development are the two main concepts of this thesis. These are basic concepts also in human life, religion because of its ability to create hope and give meaning to people, and development because it is about the changes we crave to get a better life. While development deals with issues related to this world, religion is often concerned with otherworldly matters. And while development is a tangible concept about change in human everyday life, religion often deals with issues which might be more difficult to grasp. With this short description in mind, one might claim that these two concepts do not fit together. One similarity of the two concepts, however, is pointed at by Gerrie Ter Haar. She argues that religion and development are both visions about how the world may be transformed. The religious perspective refers to an inner transformation, while a development perspective points at an external development – arrangements made for the provision of material resources (Haar, 2011:5). Other theoretical data, as well as empirical data, will in the thesis illustrate how these two concepts might be connected. Therefore, in my research about the relationship between religion and development, the focus will not be if, but rather how religion is integrated into development.