Ancient and Contemporary Wisdom and Practice on Governance as Religious Leaders Engage in International Development

December 1, 2008

Published in the December 2008 edition of the Journal of Global Ethics, this paper reviews intersecting paths that bring ethics, values, and integrity into development thinking, arguing that religious voices are likely to be heard more frequently in future development debates, with repercussions for development thinking and practice. The paper describes seven areas where faith institutions could and should engage more actively on governance issues. Among these areas, speaking substantively and forthrightly about the issues at stake and contributing to the public discourse at international, national, and local levels have special significance. Emerging new forms of partnership, dialogue, and alliance among religious and development institutions are part of the ongoing paradigm shift about directions and instruments for international development. More active engagement with faith institutions around governance issues has the potential to contribute to raising standards of development work in many areas.

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