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The Spirit of Development


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About the Author

Erica Bornstein is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


"The Spirit of Development is a truly ground-breaking work on a topic of extraordinary contemporary significance. It provides a powerful and exceptionally revealing demonstration of how ethnographic methods and anthropological concepts can be brought to bear on the study of those 'non-governmental organizations' that play an increasingly prominent (and ill-understood) role in the contemporary social and political life of much of the world. It should be required reading for all scholars concerned with 'development,' Christianity, and humanitarianism, in Africa and beyond." - James Ferguson, Stanford University "Bornstein shows how ideas of material and spiritual development relate to each other in the everyday practices of development executives in California and their counterparts in Zimbabwe. As illustrated here, 'faith-based development' compels fresh engagement with the cosmologies of capitalist development. Rarely have classic concerns in social theory been made so directly relevant to understanding topical issues." - Harri Englund, University of Cambridge "This book makes an important and timely contribution to the sociology and anthropology of development...Bornstein writes with an honesty and a curiosity that engages the reader in her project." - Canadian Journal of Sociology Online "Bornstein has written a book that every believer (or unbeliever) in the theology of (African) economic development should read." - Voluntas "Erica Bornstein's ethnography is one of the finest [on NGOs], and is likely to find a place as a foundational study in this emerging field." - Journal of Southern African Studies

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