Saving Souls, Serving Society

Saving Souls, Serving Society : Understanding the Faith Factor in Church-Based Social Ministry

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As public funding for social services has been slashed, there has arisen an unprecedented interest in the potential (and dangers) of faith-based institutions as agents of social change. Now, as President Bush begins his second term, he has placed government funding of faith-based programs at the top of his domestic agenda. What distinguishes church-based from secular social activism? What is particularly religious about church-based social services? How do churches express their religious identity in the context of social services, and how does this affect their access to resources and partners? This book, based on a Lilly-funded study of fifteen Philadelphia churches with active outreach, seeks to answer these and other pressing questions surrounding this important and controversial issue. Providing a far more objective understanding of faith-based initiatives than previously available, this study will be of interest not only to scholars of sociology of religion, social work, and social policy, but to denominational leaders, non-profit professionals, social policy analysts, community development practitioners, and others with the common goal of aiding struggling communities.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 356 pages
  • 160 x 236.2 x 30.5mm | 589.68g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0195161556
  • 9780195161557
  • 1,791,440

Review quote

Whereas most scholars focus on the social service side of faith-based social services, Unruh and Sider integrate the faith factor and evangelism in understanding congregational social services. They convincingly demonstrate that one cannot understand faith-based social services without understanding its faith dimensions. This is a most innovative and groundbreaking book that is a must for all those concerned with the faith-based initiative and congregational studies. * Ram A. Cnaan, author of The Invisible Caring Hand: American Congregations and the Provision of Welfare *
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About Heidi Rolland Unruh

Heidi Rolland Unruh is Associate Director of the Congregations, Community Outreach, and Leadership Development Project. She lives in Hutchinson, Kansas. Ronald J. Sider is Professor of Theology, Holistic Ministry, and Public Policy at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wynnewood, PA. He is also Director of the Congregations, Community Outreach, and Leadership Development Project. Together they are the authors of Churches That Make A Difference: Reaching Your Community With Good News and Good Works (2002).
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