Sharing the Message? Proselytism and Development in Pluralistic Societies: A Public Dialogue

The relationship between religious proselytism and development is sharply contested. International covenants recognize that religious freedom includes rights to personal religious conversion and public religious witness. But critics claim that proselytism can violate the rights of affected communities to maintain their traditions and can sow division in fragile societies. There is wide agreement that development aid should never be conditioned on religious conversion. Disagreement centers on whether, when, and how a vigorous religious marketplace, including the freedom to proselytize, fosters social dynamism and development or, on the contrary, social division that undercuts development goals.

Welcome |
Thomas Banchoff, Thomas Farr

Panel 1: Historical Perspectives on Proselytism, Humanitarianism, and Development |
Michael Barnett, Thomas Farr, Rebecca Samuel Shah, Robert Woodberry

Panel 2: Proselytism, Poverty, and Development Practice in Today’s World | Asoka Bandarage, Kent Hill, Katherine Marshall, Rebecca Shah

Keynote Conversation | Katherine Marshall, Ruth Messinger, Rick Warren, Timothy Samuel Shah

Panel 3: Proselytism, Social Stability, and Political Development in Today’s World | Brian Grim, Allen Hertzke, Ani Sarkissian, Hans Ucko

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