THEOLOGY, THE ENCHANTED UNIVERSE, AND DEVELOPMENT – REFLECTIONS AROUND A ZAMBIAN CASE STUDY IN THE LIGHT OF CHARLES TAYLOR’S A SECULAR AGE

Anthony Balcomb

Abstract


The fact that development discourse is dominated by the Western categorisation of ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ nations indicates the hegemony of the West when it comes to understandings of development. While this understanding can be contested it is hardly appropriate to change the rules of the game when it comes to benchmarks of development in terms of standards of living, longevity, and health. What must be contested, however, is the notion that all countries must follow the same paths that lead to a state of development. Charles Taylor’s seminal work on secularisation suggests, following Weber, that development in the West was accompanied by secularisation which, in turn, followed the pattern of disenchant­ment of the universe, the removal of God, and the shift from a transcendent to an imminent frame. The expectation is that African countries will follow the same route if development is to take place. This has not happened, as Parsons’ work in the Zambian copper industry indicates. Therefore development theorists need to take cognisance of the ‘spiritual’ realities of an African worldview.

 

doi: 10.7833/112-0-40


Keywords


Development; Disenchantment; Agency; Worldview

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/112-0-40

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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