This chapter will:

address the questions: How might members of religious traditions approach ‘development’? In what ways does religion influence visions of development as well as the policies and strategies, to reach those visions? Are these religious approaches significantly different from secular approaches?;

highlight the diversity within religious traditions and the difficulties this poses for answering the above questions;

examine the claim that mainstream development discourse (the ‘secular model’) tends to emphasize economic development and material wealth above other factors;

look at the ways in which members of three of the major ‘world religions’ (Islam, Hinduism and Christianity) have traditionally viewed wealth and poverty, and how their outlook might shape their approach to contemporary debates about economic development.