A Study of the Role of Religion in Wealth and Poverty

By Hooshmand Badiee

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #137
Bosch Baha'i School: Santa Cruz, CA
May 26–30, 2016
(see list of papers from #137)

Next presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #138
Centre for Baha'i Studies: Acuto, Italy
July 5–8, 2016
(see list of papers from #138)

    The association between religion, material well-being and poverty is fundamental in exploring how religious affiliation affect the quality of life of its members. Doctrines of well-being and prosperity in the major world religions provide various incentives for economic activities. A comparative study and analysis of religions indicate that each promotes and encourage followers for hard work, while discouraging idleness. However, observations of religious communities around the world suggest a misconception that religious affiliation and beliefs contribute to poverty. But, what religion teaches about wealth and poverty? And where is the place of the poor and the rich in the various Scriptures?

    This presentation will consider how religion, wealth and poverty are interconnected, and conclude that factors other than religion contribute to the creation of wealth and poverty.

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