2004
Volume 30, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0778-8304
  • E-ISSN: 2665-9484

Abstract

Abstract

In considering Broederlijk Delen, the Flemish Catholic development NGO, it is instructive to understand the role of its Catholic affiliation in its changing interpretation of development aid, and in particular, its evolving ideas on sustainability as the essential ecological principal. From the end of the 1960s to 1990, Broederlijk Delen gradually introduced elements into its discourse and operations that originally were not ecologically inspired, but were later woven into its ideas on sustainability. The question is, did these elements spring from and connect to Catholicism? The article also traces how affiliation with Catholicism hindered ecological concerns by introducing elements at odds with the environmentalism. The notion of moderation deduced from Christian Lent figured centrally in Broederlijk Delen’s evolution in thinking about development. Other elements played a role in Broederlijk Delen’s emerging ideas as well, such as respect for human dignity, land ownership of the poor, and the Appropriate Technology Movement. Overall, religion played a subtle defensive role and was a response to leftist aspects in Broederlijk Delen’s operation when it turned to ecology.

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