Bible and Poverty in Kenya

An Empirical Exploration

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Many strategies have been formulated to reduce poverty, the most recent being the need to include the poor as co-agents in the development process. Culture, understood as commonly shared values, then becomes an important element in poverty alleviation. Likewise religion becomes an important element of culture when the values of that religion are considered as widespread in the society. Additionally, political and economic factors are equally important for poverty alleviation. This work is centered on a conceptual model postulating that cultural attitudes influence attitudes towards ends of poverty alleviation directly and indirectly through political and economic attitudes. The study maps out the paths of influence of cultural (religious values), political and economic attitudes on those towards ends of poverty alleviation.
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Biographical Note

Sakwa, Maurice Matendechere, Ph.D. (2006), Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, is an economist who made himself familiar with those parts of religious studies needed for research and is currently a lecturer at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya.

Table of contents


List of illustrations and tables ... ix
Foreword ... xiii

Chapter One Introduction ... 1
1.1 The research problem ... 1
1.1.1 Poverty Worldwide ... 2
1.1.2 Poverty in Kenya ... 4
1.1.3 The mission of Christian religion in relation to poverty in Kenya ... 5
1.1.4 The aim of this study ... 6
1.2 The general question and the specifi c questions of this study ... 7
1.2.1 Expected direct effects of biblical conceptions on poverty alleviation ends ... 10
1.2.2 Expected indirect effects of biblical conceptions on poverty alleviation ends ... 19
1.2.2.1 The antecedent and consequent relations of the state/society policy ... 20
1.2.2.2 The antecedent and consequent relations of poverty alleviation measures ... 21
1.2.3 The target population: Catholics who are university students ... 23
1.3 The research method ... 25
1.4 Data collection and research population ... 25
1.4.1 Method of data collection ... 26
1.4.2 Population characteristics ... 27
1.5 The structure of the study ... 30

Chapter Two Biblical conceptions of poverty ... 31
2.1 Divine action for the poor ... 33
2.2 Biblical conceptions of poverty: a theoretical approach ... 35
2.2.1 The selection of the pericopes and the dimensions of poverty ... 35
2.2.1.1 A procedure for the selection of the pericopes .... 36
2.2.1.2 A first selection of pericopes ... 36
2.2.1.3 The final selection of the pericopes and the dimensions of poverty ... 37
2.2.2 The Biblical conceptions of poverty: a conceptual approach ... 41
2.2.3 The Biblical conceptions of poverty: theoretical exposition ... 45
2.2.4 The operationalization of the biblical conceptions of poverty ... 46
2.3 Empirical fi ndings ... 48
2.4 Social Location ... 50
2.5 Summary: survey of the findings ... 52

Chapter Three State/society policy ... 55
3.1 State society interaction: an analysis ... 58
3.2 State/society policy: interaction ... 62
3.2.1 State/society policy: a theoretical perspective ... 62
3.2.2 State/society policy in Africa ... 65
3.2.3 State/society policy in Kenya ... 70
3.2.4 State/society policy: operationalization of the concepts ... 76
3.3 The empirical findings ... 78
3.4 Social location ... 81
3.5 Summary ... 82

Chapter Four Poverty alleviation measures ... 83
4.1 Poverty alleviation and economic growth ... 85
4.1.1 Poverty alleviation: as a set of strategies ... 85
4.1.2 Economic growth and poverty alleviation in Kenya: an overview ... 86
4.2 Poverty alleviation measures from a theoretical perspective ... 89
4.3 The operationalization of concepts regarding poverty alleviation measures ... 95
4.4 The empirical findings ... 97
4.5 Social location ... 101
4.6 Summary ... 102

Chapter Five Poverty alleviation ends ... 105
5.1 Poverty: an analysis ... 106
5.2 Poverty alleviation ends: the theoretical perspective ... 112
5.3 Poverty alleviation ends from an empirical perspective ... 119
5.4 The empirical findings ... 120
5.5 The social location ... 125
5.6 Summary ... 126

Chapter Six Causal linkages: biblical conceptions of poverty, state/society policy and poverty alleviation ... 127
6.1 Causal linkage: the framework ... 129
6.2 Causal linkage: theoretical model ... 135
6.2.1 Effects of biblical conceptions of poverty on poverty alleviation ... 135
6.2.2 Effects of state/society policy on poverty alleviation ... 138
6.2.3 Effects of poverty alleviation measures on poverty alleviation ends ... 139
6.2.4 Effects of population characteristics on poverty alleviation ends ... 141
6.3 Causal linkages: empirical findings ... 143
6.3.1 Insurance ... 143
6.3.2 Income ... 146
6.3.3 Assets ... 148
6.3.4 Education ... 151
6.3.5 Synthesis of the major findings of the path analyses ... 152
6.4 Summary ... 156

Chapter Seven Summary, reflections and recommendations ... 159
7.1 Summary of the research ... 160
7.2 Reflections ... 168
7.3 Recommendations for further research ... 175

Appendix ... 183
Literature ... 201
Index

Readership

All those interested in socio-economic situation of Africa, its politics and economics, religion and poverty alleviation as well as development practitioners, religious leaders, social scientists, societal leaders and policy makers.

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