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Encounters with marginalised spiritualties and religions can assist in the creation of a post-2030 agenda that recognises the limitations of existing ideas of ‘sustainable development’ and ‘progress’, the necessity of which is evidenced by our worsening climate and ecological crisis.

The acknowledgement that religion plays an important role in the lives of the majority of the world’s population has led to increased partnerships between religious communities, humanitarian and development practitioners, and policy makers. At best, this has resulted in fruitful partnerships with those whose world views fit into predefined understandings of religion and development. At worst, it has led to the instrumentalisation of religious and spiritual leaders to implement western, individualistic, capitalist, anthropocentric ideas of development. Knowledge flows have remained unidirectional with the aforementioned partnerships yet to see the transformative potential of engaging with a greater diversity of religious and spiritual communities when imagining a post-2030 agenda.

This paper draws on ethnographic engagement and interviews with the Iglesia Filipina Independiente and Lumad Indigenous people in the Philippines to highlight how learned ignorance, encounters and horizontal relationships can expand individual and collective imagination – deconstructing imperial imaginations and prioritising people and planetary flourishing above profit. It highlights the potential way in which diverse subaltern, abyssal and decolonial movements can be engaged to support a burgeoning of ecologies of knowledge capable of challenging hegemonic understandings of ‘progress’ and ‘development’, essential to the post-2030 debate.

Open Access
In: Religion and Development