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Sacred Aid


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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: The Secularization and Sanctification of Humanitarianism ; 2 Faith in Markets ; Stephen Hopgood and Leslie Vinjamuri ; 3 <"Cultural proximity>" and the Conjuncture of Islam with Modern Humanitarianism ; Jonathan Benthall ; 4 Religious Obligation or Altruistic Giving? Muslims and Charitable Donations ; Ajaz Ahmed Khan ; 5 The Role of Spirituality in Humanitarian Crisis Survival and Recover ; Peter Walker, Dyan Mazurana, Amy Warren, George Scarlett, and Henry Louis ; 6 Religious Giving Outside the Law in New Delhi ; Erica Bornstein ; 7 Pyrrhic Victories? French Catholic Missionaries, Modern Expertise and Secularizing Technologies ; Betrand Taithe ; 8 Faith in the Machine? Humanitarianism in an Age of Bureaucratization ; Michael Barnett ; 9 Bridging the Sacred and the Profane in Humanitarian Life ; Andrea Paras and Janice Gross Stein ; Notes ; Bibliography ; About the Contributors ; Index

About the Author

Michael Barnett is University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at George Washington University.

Janice Gross Stein is Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management and Political Science and Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.


This marvelous book transgresses many boundaries. It examines foreign aid through the dual optics of sanctification and secularization. Since all humanitarian organizations are faith-based and since efficiency has become perhaps their highest calling, we are left without established categories to make sense of the world. Michael Barnett and Janice Stein force us to think anew. And they have assembled an impressive set of authors who provide the evidence that makes this book's far-reaching claims compelling. Sacred Aid opens entirely new vistas and compels us to reconsider fundamental political issues. * Peter J. Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies, Cornell University *
Everybody now recognizes that the 'faith-based' or 'faith-inspired' NGO is a crucial component of the global architecture of humanitarian relief and economic development. But almost nobody has thought critically about what exactly a 'faith-based' or 'faith-inspired' NGO really is, much less what distinguishes it from its 'secular' counterparts. That is, until now. In Sacred Aid, distinguished international relations scholars Michael Barnett and Janice Stein have brought their characteristic creativity and lucidity to this crucial though neglected thicket of conceptual and practical puzzles. In the process, among the many insights they and their contributors offer is that the boundary between 'sacred' and 'secular' humanitarianism is not nearly so neat as most of us have assumed. * Timothy Samuel Shah, Associate Director of The Religious Freedom Project, Berkley Center For Religion, Peace, and World Affairs *
This volume is a timely response to the challenge of how to think and write about the politics of humanitarianism after the critique of secularism. These essays take us deep inside a diverse series of projects, actors and associations that intervene in the lives of individuals and communities around the world in the name of convictions and commitments both secular and religious. Sacred Aid sets a high bar for a new research agenda on these influential actors and processes, and the political and religious worlds that they create. * Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Associate Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University *
Sacred Aid is a welcomed addition to the aid literature. While there is much research to be done, this book serves as a good first step to understand the changing nature of humanitarianism. The book is highly recommended for scholars, humanitarian workers, and policymakers interested in understanding the intersection of religion and humanitarian work. Sacred Aid is also a must read for anyone who teaches classes in economic development, non-profit studies, or foreign aid. * e-International Relations *

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