Introduction The emerging debate on ‘religion’ and ‘development’ has been challenged by some for unquestioningly deploying what are historically contingent, socially constructed and mutually constitutive categories. Arguably, separating out ‘religion’ renders development secular, as a value-free project of modernization, or the expansion of consumer capitalism and liberal democracy, while the paired idea of ‘development’ strips the political economy out of religion, making it available for instrumental packaging as the ‘missing element’ (faith, trust, values, commitment) now supplied by self-dened faith-based organizations (FBOs) (Fountain 2013). Such an idea certainly lies behind the complaint that the ‘religion and development’ agenda is normative and instrumental in its approach, agency-driven, and involves a narrow or overly institutional notion of religion, focused on ‘faith agencies’ (mostly Christian), as well as enclosing a Christian conception of religion as a matter of belief (Jones and Juul Petersen 2011).