Poverty and the Poor in the World's Religious Traditions
Religious Responses to the Problem of Poverty
by William H. Brackney and Rupen Das, Editors
December 2018, 422pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4445-4
$85, £66, 74€, A117
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4446-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Religious organizations have the power to make significant provisions toward relieving poverty. Can they learn from each other in order to make contributions to the global effort to reduce poverty?

This detailed book is a resource for students, practitioners, and leaders interested in how the major world religions have understood poverty and responded to the poor.

Poverty is a universal phenomenon across history, regardless of country or culture. Today, the demographics of the poor are on the rise globally: it is a critical issue. Religious traditions are another universal aspect of human societies, and nearly all religions include directives on how to respond to the poor and systemic poverty. How do the various religious traditions conceptualize poverty, and what do they view as the proper response to the poor?

Poverty and the Poor in the World’s Religious Traditions: Religious Responses to the Problem of Poverty brings together specialists on the religions of the world and their diverse viewpoints to identify how different religious traditions interact with poverty and being poor. It also contains excerpts of religious texts that readers can use as primary documents to illustrate themes such as identifying the poor, religious reasons for being poor, and responses (like charity and development) to the existence of poverty. This book serves as a powerful resource for students of subjects like international development, missiology, comparative religion, theology, social ethics, economics, and organizational leadership as well as for any socially concerned clergy of various faiths.


  • Addresses a topic of great importance: the intersection of religion, a universal cultural phenomenon; and the poor, a population whose demographics are on the rise globally
  • Fills the need for an accurate, authoritative resource on the way poverty and the poor are understood in the world's religions
  • Coedited by a published specialist in world religions and a recognized specialist, academic, and practitioner in international responses to poverty and emergency response in a variety of cultures
William H. Brackney is Millard R. Cherry Distinguished Professor of Christian Thought and Ethics, Emeritus, at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. Presently, he also holds the Pioneer MacDonald Chair at Carey Theological College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is the author of more than 50 books in the fields of Christian thought, human rights and the world's religions, and the evolution of social justice. Previously, he has been dean of theology at McMaster University, religion department chair at Baylor University, and a fellow of various research institutes. Brackney also serves on numerous editorial boards and consortia in religion projects and lectures widely in the history of the Christian religious tradition and religious liberty.

Rupen Das is research professor of social justice, compassion, and development at Tyndale University College and Seminary in Toronto, Canada. Previously he was also on the faculty of the International Baptist Theological Study Centre in Amsterdam. Das brings extensive international field experience in relief and development as well as teaching and research in a number of countries and cultures. He is author of Compassion and the Mission of God: Revealing the Invisible Kingdom (2016) and Profiles of Poverty: The Human Face of Poverty in Lebanon (2011).


"Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers."—Choice, October 1, 2019
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