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Cultures, Spirituality & Development

August 22, 2001

This World Faiths Development Dialogue pamphlet emphasizes the importance of the cultural and spiritual aspects of development work, using examples from around the world to show that development processes can only be successful if these elements are considered. In the paper, the authors point out that '"the idea of “progress” being a purely material goal is alien to most people of the world, and thus development policies that only deal with the material goals in mind are destined to fail. Globalization can either lead to homogeneity and uniformity, or it can lead to an opportunity for "diversity in unity." With the help of examples from different places in the world, the paper discusses some aspects of what considering cultural and spiritual elements to development means in practice and suggests some ways in which this may be done.