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Religion, utveckling och social förändring - en religionspsykologisk studie av analys av religion inom utvecklingsarbete
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, The Social Sciences of Religion, Psychology of Religions.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The role of religion, of religious individuals and organizations, is currently discussed within both a private and public sector of development. I have viewed documents from the World Bank and DFID where the religious presence is a growing fact and previous theories that religion would disappear with economic development have been abandoned. As a result DFID conducted a large study on the importance of religion for development work, RaD 2005-2011, under the directions of Professor Carole Rakodi. Rakodi (2011) concluded that religion was highly related to the success or failure of developmental projects, and to understand the values people had religion needed to be understood within its specific cultural context. She developed an analysis model to conduct this work. I studied this model and decided to view her analyzing method from a different perspective, from the theory of construct of meaning and the role of religion within worldviews by Joseph Silberman (2005) and Chrystal Park (2005). I was curious to see if theory within psychology of religion could bring further understanding of religion and religious actors to the discussion within development, and if analyzing religion from this perspective could better reach the needs described as necessary to conduct productive work. From studies of the public health in Scandinavia DeMarinis (2011) expresses how religious faith has been affected by privatization and secularism. By researching public health she has seen that within society a number of expressions and ways to relate to the sacred have emerged, and she calls for other methods of analyzing religion. A concept of existential meaning-making was constructed and is now being used in research for understanding the function of religion within meaning structures for the well-being of man. The end result of my research became this thesis whereby I am comparing the two methods of analyzing religion and existential meaning by using a hermeneutic method. I have compared their structures to see which dimension they reach, their historical backgrounds and interpretation of concepts like religion, culture, value, well-being and development. The results have been interpreted with the theory by Silberman and Park. Among my conclusions is that the way we view religion has a huge impact for analysis. It affects how projects and policies are constructed and how we meet and relate to people from other cultures. The two methods note similar aspects but the use of the concept of existential meaning-making is able to reach further and provides an answer to challenges seen within development on how to view religion. By using a concept of existential meaning it allows for a broader perspective and inclusion of all relation to the sacred as well as a self-reflective position to our own understanding of important concepts that directly or indirectly affect work with development in the ways of structuring goals, policy and projects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 39 p.
Keyword [sv]
religion, utvecklingsarbete, existentiellt meningsskapande, kulturanalys
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-208285OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-208285DiVA: diva2:651783
Subject / course
History of Religion and Social Sciences of Religion
Educational program
Bachelor Programme in Theology and Religious Studies
Available from: 2013-09-30 Created: 2013-09-27 Last updated: 2013-09-30Bibliographically approved

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