CULTURE VERSUS RELIGION: A THEORETICAL ANALYSIS OF THE ROLE OF INDIGENOUS AFRICAN CULTURE OF UBUNTU IN SOCIAL CHANGE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE POSTAPARTHEID SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIETY
The question of the relationship between social values and beliefs (be them religious or cultural) and the economy has always been a subject of intense scholarly inquiry and debate. To this day, it continues to receive greater attention, especially in the contemporary era where intensifying globalisation processes have brought to light questions such as religious and cultural diversity and the challenges as well as opportunities that they present. As Ray and Sayer (1999) pointed out, there has since the dawn of the twenty first century, been a ‘cultural turn’ characterised by strong interest in questions of links between culture and economy. This article provides a critical review of perspectives on the links between culture, religion, economy and development. While greater attention is drawn to cultural values, some contrast between religion and culture is however provided to avoid tendency to confuse both concepts. Including religion is also necessary as its values, like cultural values, have social significance. Thus understanding their role has bearing on understanding that of cultural values. The central purpose of the review is to provide a basis for examining claims about the role of the indigenous African culture of ubuntu in South Africa’s post-apartheid development.
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