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Article

Spirituality and Sustainable Development: A Systematic Word Frequency Analysis and an Agenda for Research in Pacific Island Countries

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Graduate Research School, Alphacrucis University College (AC), Brisbane, QLD 4102, Australia
2
School of Law and Society, University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), Sippy Downs, QLD 4556, Australia
3
School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
4
Otago Business School, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
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Christian Heritage College, Carindale, QLD 4122, Australia
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School of Law and Society, Indigenous and Transcultural Research Centre, University of Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, QLD 4556, Australia
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Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, QLD 4556, Australia
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Australian Centre for Pacific Islands Research, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, QLD 4556, Australia
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Faculty of Science, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
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Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Laucala Bay Campus, Suva, Fiji
11
Faculty of Science & Technology, Solomon Islands National University, Kukum Campus, Honiara P.O. Box R113, Solomon Islands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2201; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032201
Received: 22 December 2022 / Revised: 19 January 2023 / Accepted: 20 January 2023 / Published: 24 January 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Community, Circularity, and Sustainability: Climate Solutions)

Abstract

While different in emphasis, spirituality and sustainable development are intertwined concepts that cannot be meaningfully discussed in isolation from each other. This is especially pertinent in Pacific Island countries that are characterised by both high degrees of vulnerability to climate change and high degrees of religious engagement. There is a paucity of research that examines the relationship between spirituality and sustainable development in contemporary human development discourse. To address this gap in the literature, this research employs an inductive and exploratory methodological approach to the study of major development organisations in Australia. It investigates what significance contemporary NGOs ascribe to matters of spirituality in the design and implementation of their community aid and development programming in the Pacific and beyond. To achieve its goal, the study conducts a systematic term frequency analysis in the annual reports of government-funded and independently funded NGOs, both faith-based and secular. It extends previous research by focusing expressly on the intersectionality of sustainable development and spirituality as a fertile space for interdisciplinary inquiry. The findings link development policy and practice more closely to the needs and worldviews of Pacific peoples. A better understanding of the spirituality–sustainability nexus will enable more effective, sustainable, equitable, ethical, and culturally acceptable development programming. Crucially, integrated approaches promise to make ongoing community development programmes and adaptation responses to climate-driven environmental change more effective and sustainable. Finally, it is an important aim of this study to conceptualise various opportunities for future research, thus laying the foundation for an important emergent research agenda.
Keywords: spirituality; sustainable development; Australia; Pacific; indigenous; systematic keyword research; word frequency analysis; future research agenda spirituality; sustainable development; Australia; Pacific; indigenous; systematic keyword research; word frequency analysis; future research agenda

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MDPI and ACS Style

Luetz, J.M.; Nichols, E.; Plessis, K.d.; Nunn, P.D. Spirituality and Sustainable Development: A Systematic Word Frequency Analysis and an Agenda for Research in Pacific Island Countries. Sustainability 2023, 15, 2201. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032201

AMA Style

Luetz JM, Nichols E, Plessis Kd, Nunn PD. Spirituality and Sustainable Development: A Systematic Word Frequency Analysis and an Agenda for Research in Pacific Island Countries. Sustainability. 2023; 15(3):2201. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032201

Chicago/Turabian Style

Luetz, Johannes M., Elizabeth Nichols, Karen du Plessis, and Patrick D. Nunn. 2023. "Spirituality and Sustainable Development: A Systematic Word Frequency Analysis and an Agenda for Research in Pacific Island Countries" Sustainability 15, no. 3: 2201. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032201

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