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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:Religious engineering: exploring projects of transformation from a relational perspective
Authors:Spies, EvaISNI
Schrode, Paula
Year:2021
Periodical:Religion (ISSN 0048-721X)
Volume:51
Issue:1
Pages:1-18
Language:English
Geographic terms:Africa
world
Subjects:religion
development
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/0048721X.2020.1792053
Abstract:This introduction presents the concept of religious engineering, offering a new perspective on a field of research which deals with the interrelations of religion and international development. The concept, we propose, allows for an analysis of a wide array of projects of transformation without presupposing religion, secularity and development as different given spheres or concepts. Following criticisms of the instrumental use of a sui generis concept of religion and a narrow definition of development, we suggest a focus on the relational, on-going constitution of development and religion through transformative practices of religious engineering. This refers to ways of working on the future shape of a society, group or individual, where the 'engineers' allude to what they understand as religious traditions and practices. At the same time, the concept accesses purposeful transformations of religious traditions and self-understandings that are spurred on by such projects of societal and/or individual improvement.
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