While there has been a massive surge of interest and grey literature publication on religion and development and religion and health, especially at an international advocacy level, the academic disciplinary processes for such work remains poorly clarified – and largely uncritical. This paper examines the interdisciplinary intersection of religion and public health (using the example of research on HIV/AIDS in Africa), and considers lingering clashes of disciplinary cultures and power that continue to make collaboration in this space a challenge.
See H.G.M. Koenig et al.Handbook of Religion and Health (Oxford: Oxford University Press2001); B.Y. Lee and A.B. Newberg “Religion and Health: A Review and Critical Analysis” Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science 40 no. 2 (2005): 443–444; and A. Meier et al. eds. Spirituality and Health: Multidisciplinary Explorations (Waterloo Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press 2005).
S. Deneulin and C. Rakodi“Revisiting Religion: Development Studies Thirty Years On,”World Development39 no. 1 (2011): 45–54; K. Marshall and M. Van Saanen Development and Faith: Where Mind Heart and Soul Work Together (Washington D.C.: World Bank 2007).
J. OlivierLocal Faith Communities and Immunization for Systems Strengthening: Scoping Review and Companion Bibliography (London: Report for the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities2014).
T.S.J. O’Connor and E. Meakes“Towards a Joint Paradigm Reconciling Faith and Research,” in Spirituality and Health: Multidisciplinary Explorations (ed. A. Meier, T.S.J. O’Connor, and P. Van Katwyk; Waterloo, Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press2005) 11.
For more on dialogue fatigue see Olivier“Common Ground”; and H.E. Banna, “Conflicting Agendas, Converging Hopes” in Connecting Regions – Creating New Opportunities: Bridging Civilisations(Istanbul World Economic Forum 2006) 1.
Olivier“Common ground”; J. Olivier et al. “Understanding the Significance of Faith-Based Healthcare Providers in Africa: a Review of the Evidence with a Focus on Magnitude, Reach, Cost, and Satisfaction,”The Lancet(forthcoming late 2014).
Becher and TrowlerAcademic Tribes23. They also argue here that both disciplinary epistemology and the phenomenology of that knowledge are important and (in practice) are inseparably intertwined with academic cultures.
See B. Ballard and J. Clanchy“Literacy in the University: An ‘Anthropological’ Approach,” in Literacy by Degrees(ed. G. Taylor et al.; Milton Keynes; Philadelphia Penn.: Society for Research into Higher Education; Open University Press 1988); Bauer “The Antithesis.”
See R. Detels and L. Breslow“Current Scope and Concerns in Public Health,” in Oxford Textbook of Public Health: the Scope of Public Health(eds. R. Detels et al.; New York N.Y.: Oxford University Press 1997) 10. The obvious variation being specialisations such as cultural epidemiology.
P.J. Brown“Quantiphobia, Quantiphilia, Narratives and Graphs: Epistemologies of Religion and Public Health and the Two Cultures of Evidence” in Maps and Mazes: Critical Inquiry at the Intersection of Religion and Health(Emory University Atlanta: 2007).
See Olivier“Common Ground”; Olivier, J. “‘An FB-oh?’: Mapping the Etymology of the Religious Entity Engaged in Health” in When Religion and Health Align: Mobilizing Religious Health Assets for Transformation (eds. J.R. Cochrane, B. Schmid and T. Cutts; Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications2011) 24–42; Olivier “FB–oh”; Olivier and Wodon “Layers”.
S. De Gruchy“Re-Learning Our mother Tongue? Theology in Dialogue with Public Health,”Religion & Theology14 no. 1&2 (2006): 47–67. (Paper originally read in the panel: Religion Health and Social Justice: African Perspectives on a Global Issue at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion Washington D.C.: November 2006.)
See J. Brannen ed.Mixing Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Research (Aldershot: Avebury1992). This does not mean that there is no specialised jargon in RS but rather that RS scholars need to take more time to write themselves into particular concepts.
J.J. Carvalho“The Agenda for Religion-And-Science: A Biologist’s Perspective on the Future of the Science-Religion Dialogue in the Twenty-First Century,”Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science43 no. 1 (2008): 218.
See S. Abdool Karim et al.“Bridging the Gap: Potential for a Health Care Partnership between African Traditional Healers and Biomedical Personnel in South Africa,”South African Medical Journal84 (1994): 1–16.
J.V. Millen et al.“Conclusion: Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will,” in Dying for Growth: Global Inequality and the Health of the Poor (ed. J.Y. Kim, et al.; Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press2000) 383–384.