Over the past couple of decades, the influence of religion and religious organisations has increased almost everywhere in the world. The most ‘successful’ forms have been the more stringent ones, those that we usually call fundamentalist. As much of this has happened in developing countries, the issue of its effect on development has taken on increasing importance.
There appears to have been only limited research on this issue, but indirect indications suggest that the outcome has been problematic to say the least. Taking the broader perspective of human development, this lecture will consider some of the evidence, specifically for the fastest growing fundamentalist Christian denomination (the Pentecostals), and for Islam, where the distinction between mainstream and fundamentalist is rather more blurred than among other religions.
About the speaker
Emanuel de Kadt was educated in the Netherlands, the UK, and the US. He taught sociology at the London School of Economics from 1961-1969, then worked for some 27 years at the Institute of Development Studies, including as its Academic Director. His interests centred on social policy and on social policy management (especially institutional issues).
He is now Emeritus Professor at Utrecht University in the Department of Cultural Anthropology and is (again) working on issues related to religion and society. From 1994 to 1996 he chaired the Dutch Government’s Advisory Council for Scientific Research in Development Problems (RAWOO), and between 1997 and 2003 he was a member of the Dutch government’s Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV). His book, Assertive Religion, was published in April 2013.
Miss the lecture?
You can read a full copy of the lecture that was given by Emanuel de Kadt Sussex Development Lecture – The effects of religious fundamentalism in developing countries (pdf)