This article deals with certain themes concerning religion, culture, and development, in part to help to set the context for the rest of this edition. It considers the religious and/or cultural background of many Northern agencies and individuals, and its effect on their development agenda. Arguing that local cultural values define what development means, it looks at some of the cultural issues — political and moral, thematic and practical — which arise in North-South development interaction. It concludes that the history of intervention, whatever its motives, has been a sorry one. It is time to play a supporting role, as people in the South make development their own history.
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