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Religion and faith-based welfare

Religion and faith-based welfare: From wellbeing to ways of being

Rana Jawad
Copyright Date: 2012
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  • Book Info
    Religion and faith-based welfare
    Book Description:

    This original book makes a timely and potentially controversial contribution both to the teaching of social policy and the wider debates surrounding it in Britain today. It offers a critical and theoretically sensitive overview of the role of religious values, actors and institutions in the development of state and non-state social welfare provision in Britain, combining historical discussion of the relationship between religion and social policy in Britain with a comparative theoretical discussion that covers continental Europe and North America. Grounded in new empirical research on religious welfare organisations from the nine major faiths in the UK, the book brings together all of these perspectives to argue for an analytical shift in the definition of wellbeing through a new concept called 'ways of being'. This reflects the moral, ideational and cultural underpinnings of social welfare. Written in a readable style, the book will appeal to students and tutors of social policy, as well as policy-makers seeking to inform themselves about the key issues surrounding faith-based welfare in modern Britain.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-391-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iii)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. iv-iv)
  4. INTRODUCTION: Thinking about religious welfare and rethinking social policy
    (pp. 1-30)

    My visit to the East London Mosque on Whitechapel Road (Borough of Tower Hamlets, East London) began as a run–of–the–mill interview appointment at a Muslim organisation that, I had been told by a key informant in the voluntary sector, was “doing really important work”. On exiting Whitechapel underground station, I was unexpectedly greeted by the grand facade of The Royal London Hospital. A vague recollection of this name revisited me from my modest readings on Victorian philanthropy — was there not a religious connection to this place? Turning right, I walked through the street market stalls and streams...

  5. Part I: Religion, social welfare and social policy in the UK

    • ONE Conceptualising the relationship between religion and social policy I: historical perspectives
      (pp. 33-54)

      In order for us to understand the relationship between religion and social policy in the British context, it is useful to adopt two complementary approaches, one historical and one theoretical. The first of these is the subject of this chapter; the second is taken up in the next. These two perspectives fulfil two important purposes: on the one hand, our view of the welfare state is stretched to the period before the Second World War which is often missing in contemporary social policy scholarship since it is post 1945, which is generally depicted as the watershed moment of the classic...

    • TWO Conceptualising the relationship between religion and social policy II: theoretical perspectives
      (pp. 55-90)

      Following on from the historical focus of the previous chapter, here we examine how religion has been studied within social policy scholarship. This immediately contrasts the British (and English) context with continental Europe and North America in the sense that the role of religion has been more or less lost in the obscurity of the voluntary sector in the UK, whereas in Europe and North America it has figured much more centrally in the analysis of social welfare provision, for example, through the role of Catholic political parties and the Catholic Church or through faith based social welfare provision funded...

    • THREE The contemporary British context: social and policy profiles in relation to religion
      (pp. 91-126)

      What role does religion play in social life in Britain today? Is there a religious profile of social inequality and deprivation? What do we know about the 30,000¹ or so religious welfare charities that are currently operating? What is the contemporary policy context in Britain with regard to the role of religion in social policy?

      These are four guiding questions for this chapter, which sets out the contemporary situation of social problems and social policy in relation to the religious welfare sector. Government policy since 1997 (under Tony Blair’s leadership) has been etching out an agenda to engage religious groups...

  6. Part II: Sector-specific religious welfare provision in the current UK context

    • FOUR Social work and social action
      (pp. 129-148)

      We start our review of the contribution of religion and religious organisations to social welfare by looking first at the social work profession. It is also apt to begin with social work because the empirical research which this book draws on will help illustrate fundamental characteristics about the nature of religious welfare provision and social action which will help illuminate the concept ofways of beingproposed in this book.

      Together with education, social work is a central plank of religious welfare activity. In the British academic literature, it is the subject of social work that has surpassed its cousin,...

    • FIVE Health
      (pp. 149-168)

      In this chapter, we look at the issue of illness and the maintenance of health – the meaning and purpose of the human body in daily human affairs as well as in medical intervention is a matter of perennial importance to all the world religions.

      First, there are the teachings and principles in virtually all of the major world religions. The missionary religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) call on believers to tend to the needs of the sick and infirm, such as the Jewish principle ofbikur cholim(visiting the sick) (Kohn, 2010, p 121), the saying of the...

    • SIX Social care
      (pp. 169-186)

      This chapter is concerned with social care. It is important to note from the outset that it represents a complementary conceptual progression from previous chapters on social work and health due to the very close conceptual and practical ties between these three domains. Two tasks are accomplished which are consistent with the book’s overall aims and the progression of its argument: (1) it develops the discussion of holistic approaches to human wellbeing by honing in on the concepts of ‘worldview’ (Stewart, 2002) and ‘lifeworld’ (Grunwald and Thiersch, 2009) in the provision of adequate social care; and (2) it takes the...

    • SEVEN Poverty reduction and financial assistance
      (pp. 187-204)

      This chapter takes us into the realm of poverty, broadly defined, and economic justice, both of which are discourses of prime concern to religious groups and actors in the UK. It builds on the previous discussion of social care and ethics of justice in Chapter 6. Poverty is the perennial social problem of human society, and the bread and butter of social policy, but how do we define it? Indeed, our definition of it will determine what solutions we are able to find for it. In this chapter we look at poverty in a variety of meanings, first, as a...

    • EIGHT Housing, urban governance and regeneration
      (pp. 205-222)

      This chapter takes a spatial lens to consider the role of religion and religious welfare provision in the areas of housing and urban regeneration that are related to a broader constellation of issues such as homelessness, social cohesion and social exclusion, and urban poverty. In both housing and urban regeneration policies, the UK government has increasingly begun to take into account the needs of religious communities and also what part they play in the development of harmonious and socially cohesive communities. In addition, religious organisations offering social welfare services in Britain have themselves catered to the housing and social needs...

  7. CONCLUSION: Theoretical and practical implications for social policy
    (pp. 223-240)

    As we come to a close in this final chapter, where the main arguments proposed in this book are brought together and a potential future agenda for social policy research and practice is explored, two aspirations deserve articulation: that this book has helped set the scene about religious welfare generally and religious organisations in Britain specifically in relation to their social welfare role; and that a more rigorous academic debate has been etched out that may help students and teachers of social policy in the UK broaden their view of social policy, historically, theoretically and practically.

    In both cases, however,...

  8. References
    (pp. 241-260)
  9. Index
    (pp. 261-268)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 269-269)