K. C. Ugwulebo (PhD), S. U. N. Duruji (PhD)


Some contemporary scholars have argued that the best approach to national development is the development of the human persons, especially the development of human moral capacity. Religion and culture play enormous role in this regard. Religion and culture develop the individual’s moral and behavioural capabilities for meaningful contributions to national development. Thus, this paper seeks to examine the role of religion and culture in national development: issues and challenges in the 21st century. It starts by clarifying some key concepts used in the study. It goes ahead to take a glance at the Nigerian national development portrait. It also examines the relevance of religion and culture in human society; the role of religion in national development; cultural values and national development; and issues and challenges of religion and culture in the 21st century. The paper observes that religion is the most abused and manipulated phenomenon in the society today as seen in the way it is being used by unscrupulous clerics and politicians to unleash terror and violence on the society just to serve selfish interests. The paper therefore recommends among others, that the government should join forces with religious leaders in the country in order to wage a serious war against terrorism and corruption which have remained the bane of our national development.


Religion, Culture, Behavioural Capabilities, National Development, 21st Century

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