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Istratii, Romina (2021) Decolonising Development Theory and Practice: The Role of Religious Knowledge. In: De-colonising Development: An Open Event for Practitioners, 23 June 2021, Virtual.

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In contrast to a historical neglect of religious parameters, development studies and practice have increasingly acknowledged the need to integrate faith and religious beliefs in the context of development work in low- and middle-income societies (LMICs) with major development organisations collaborating with faith-based leaders to better-address issues ranging from conflict to HIV/AIDS and gender inequality. However, there is considerable work to be done in order to overcome Eurocentric conceptualisations of ‘religion’ and how the latter’s relationship to ‘culture’ has been theorised historically in order to engage substantively with religious idiom in diverse religio-cultural contexts. In this presentation, we will discuss some of the theoretical colonial underpinnings that hinder development practice from leveraging on the resourcefulness of religious parameters as embedded in wider cosmological, normative and socio-cultural systems. We will discuss the critical decolonial approach followed by project dldl/ድልድል, a project that works to strengthen and develop religio-culturally sensitive domestic violence systems in Ethiopia, Eritrea and the UK. The presentations will reveal the need for nuancing and contextualising the study of issues of international relevance such as domestic violence across diverse religio-cultural contexts and the need for cultivating reflexivity, humility and trust-based partnerships to reverse historical and on-going hierarchical and colonial North-South relationships in development research, knowledge transfer and practice.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Items (Speech)
Keywords: international development, decolonisation, LMICs, gender and development, religious knowledge, public health, vaccine inequalities, heritage, stolen artefacts and restitution, equity
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of Religions & Philosophies
Copyright Statement: Open Access
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2021 16:21
Related URLs: ... -practitioners/

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