A chapter in The Economics of Faith-Based Service Delivery, 2015, pp 1-5 from Palgrave Macmillan
Abstract The role of faith in the development process is more visible now than ever before. Almost no day passes without issues related in part to religion making news headlines. In international affairs, faith is now commonly associated with intransigence and conflict, and its influence on development is often seen through negative lenses. The influence of religion on people’s lives seems to be rising. Owing to the fear of extremism, religion is sometimes seen as a potential threat, a force that may need to be counteracted. It does not have to be this way. While extremism— whether religious or other forms—is to be resisted and contained, it is important to recognize that in most cases faith remains a force for good. There is perhaps no better way to illustrate this than through an exploration of the role that faith-inspired institutions (FIIs) play in providing much-needed education and health services to the poor and to the broader population, among others in sub-Saharan Africa. The present book documents this role.
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