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In our decolonising, digitalising, and neo- and post-colonial world, the scholarly focus on ‘Religion and Social Responsibility’ is here to stay. As Smit (this issue) cogently points out, it has become common purchase not only within traditional socially-minded religious discursive traditions such as the historical Social Gospel Movement, the Catholic Church’s socially conscious and social justice statements and programmes since at least the eighteenth century, and the large variety of missionary movements of the nineteenth century, but that it has also been embraced by more conservative sectors of global religious society. Following the wide variety of social responsibility programmes developed and implemented – with a variety of measures of success – by the capitalist business sectors of the world since the mid-twentieth century, social responsibility programmes as forms of social intervention, or, for the purposes of social transformation and social and economic develop-ment, have become common cause for many institutions. With this issue of Alternation, we wish to place this item firmly on the scholarly agenda of not only institutions of higher learning, but also religious organisations across the religions. We also affirm the socially conscious engagement of society by the business and corporate world. After all, it is these sectors that not only drive the world economy and world development, but also, as individuals and companies, benefit the most from a continuously developing world political and socio-cultural economy.
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