Concluding Remarks and the direction of future research

The present paper is a further extension in an earlier paper on religiosity and natural resource management (Hamdani and Freeman). It is advocated that, among other standard economic factors, religiosity also affects the pattern of natural resource use. As also explained in an earlier study (Hamdani and Freeman, 2008) that religiosity is likely to affect the behavior regarding use of natural resources.

The people with high religiosity have been observed avoiding water wastage, polluting public water, and creating other forms of negative externalities (as this has been condemned in religions). The present study postulates that this effect of religiosity is likely to be more stronger in the presence of the Mahdvi religiosity. Similarly that study also mentioned with reference to religious resources that supplications and sadaqah can result in increased water quantities.

The author is witness to more than hundreds of events when people prayed in a prescribed manner and soon after the pray finished, there was raining. The future research agenda can include data collection on these aspects and empirical analysis not because of proving the truths of religion with the help of empirics but providing the researchers and learners a ground for diverting some of their energies to the scientific study of religion.

Construction of religiosity with special reference to Mahdism doctrine is also a great job yet to be done. It is also need of the time to include special questions in national surveys about Mahdism where it may have an effect on human behaviors (as observed).

Supporting the earlier recommendations that 'if justices, peace and fairness in use of water and other natural resources is considered to be a need of the globe these days, then investment in religious human capital seems to be a strong candidate for contemporary budget allocations'.

It is suggested that enough resources should be allocated for research and surveys that explore relationships between material and non-material variables and such as economic variables, religiosity, human values, futuristics and in particular, the belief in second coming of Jesus and appearance of Imam Mahdi (Ajj.).

Water-stressed countries are those with annual water resources of between 1,000 and 1,700 cubic meters per person, shown in italic. Countries suffering from water scarcity are those with annual supplies of less than 1,000 cubic meters per person, shown in dark type.

TFR = Total Fertility Rate
aIn cubic meters per year

Source: Gardner-Outlaw & Engelman, Sustaining water, easing scarcity: A second update, Washington, D.C., Population Action International, 1997 (69). Gardner-Outlaw and Engelman base their calculations on UN Population Division population estimates. The growth rate and TFR data come from: Populatoin Reference Bureau, World Population Data Sheet, 1998, Wahsington, D.C., 1998.


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