The role of religious institutions as effective institutions in human development (An analytical study adopting social capital theory)

Abstract

The aim of the study was to identify the role of religious institutions as influencer institutions in the development of the rural community. Furthermore, it aimed to explore the role of worship institutions in developing social and religious awareness, and to determine their role in developing social capital which is considered one main pillar of human development in societies. The present study is descriptive - analytical research that looks into the reality of the Egyptian village. Documentary data in addition to field observations were collected and analyzed sociologically. Additionally, data analysis supported with researcher’s participation and coexistence in the study’s society. Talks with educated newsmen and other reputable people in villages have enriched the argument about the role of the religious institutions in developing the village. The findings revealed that Egyptian villages have all forms of social capital that vary in size from one village to another, however it is not exploited by religious institutions to achieve human development. The study highlights the need to pay attention to enriching the religious discourse with the importance of religious institutions in investing different forms of social capital in the study’s society to achieve human development.