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This paper argues that discussion of religion and development sees religion in over-institutionalised ways and is biased towards Christianity over other traditions. It explores this through analysis of the World Bank-sponsored study, Voices of the Poor, and the authors’ own research in India. This shows that religious identities and practice can be quite fluid, especially amongst people in lower castes. People identify religion not just in terms of particular affiliations, but in relation to an underlying moral order. The extent to which religions provide welfare and moral leadership varies between religious communities and types of organisation.

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