International Development: Christian Reflections on Today’s Competing Theories

Roland Hoksbergen, Janel Curry, and Tracy Kuperus

Why do poverty, inequality, stagnation, oppression, conflict and environmental calamity plague some nations while other nations do so much better? Economist Roland Hoksbergen, geographer Janel Curry and political scientist Tracy Kuperus review and assess some of the main contemporary social science theories that answer these questions, especially the theories that emphasize economic, political, cultural and geographic factors. The authors critique these explanations from a Christian perspective, arguing that they are seriously limited in their explanatory and prescriptive power due to inadequate assumptions and beliefs about the human person, the character of community, our relationship to the natural world and the overall meaning of human development. Presenting creation care and peacebuilding as two development arenas in which Christians have made strong contributions, the authors encourage Christians to listen to, learn from and join the contemporary conversation on development. Mr. Hoksbergen is Professor of Economics. Ms. Curry is Professor of Geography and holds the Byker Chair in Christian Perspectives on Political, Social, and Economic Thought. Ms. Kuperus is Adjunct Professor of International Development. All are affiliated with Calvin College.

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Last Updated: October 7, 2009
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