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A Potent Fuel? Faith identity, Religion and Development Impact

Online event - Zoom
Research, Social Sciences
Wednesday 2nd December 2020 (16:00-17:30)

Dr Merisa Thompson (

The IDD Guest Seminar Series is delighted to welcome Dr Mike Jennings, Reader in International Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), to discuss his latest research on faith identity, religion and development impact.

Title: "A potent fuel? Faith identity, religion and development impact"

Abstract: This paper explores the role the faith identity of an organisation plays in building trust and engagement within the communities in which it is working. I argue that faith identity is not just the way the organisation sees and projects itself, but also the way it is seen within the community which can create potentials for suspicion and mistrust, as well as engagement. But I also argue that faith-based development organisations have a dual identity: faith and development, and it is the way that these two interact that creates opportunities for meaningful engagement and trust in interventions.

Bio: Michael Jennings is former Head of the Dept of Development Studies at SOAS, University of London. His research explores the history and politics of development in sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on non-state actors (including NGOs and faith-based organisations); on religion and development; and on issues around health.

The IDD Guest Seminar Series brings scholars and practitioners working on international development to the University of Birmingham to share their latest research and ideas. All seminars are open to staff, students, and the general public.

Please register if you would like to attend.

A Zoom link will be emailed to participants before the event. 

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