RELIGION AND DEVELOPMENT
In the 9th seies of the Sinclsir Thompson Memoral Lectures on “Religion and Development,” Professor Sulak Sivaraksa pointed out the inadequate state of development programmes in Thailand. He maintained that religion has a constructive role to play in development programmes and concluded the latter should not be exclusively concerned with the material dimension but should also attend to the spiritual aspect of society.
More important than material development is social development and human development aimed at promoting the development of Man’s full human potential. As Sulak would haveiy “The sult of development is in Man himself, and we have to lool at him with a view in mind that he is a fully developed man.
Apparently, development proment programmes tend to emphasize the creation of material things instead of developing Man’s human qualities. Consepquently, the stress has been on quantiry ratherthan on quality, refected in the methodology of quantitative social science which has been relatively insensitive to the qualitative aspects of human exerireace. According to Sulak “Religious leader are usually proud in buill=ding more temples and churches and are fond of making them more beautiful they, they are cobscious about how much money the churches would have how many members they collect and how many books they publish—not consideging whether members are humane or not:or whether or not thay really love their neighbours and are prepared tpsacriffce for them. The education claim their achievement in increasing the number of their pupils the numbers of school of school being buit,the expansion of the curriculum,but they have no method to evaluate what benefits these sorts of things give to the boys and girl.”
Evidently, the cause of these errors lies in the misunderstanding of religious teachings.