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Saving America? : Faith-Based Services and the Future of Civil Society.

By: Wuthnow, Robert.
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2006Description: 1 online resource (374 p.).ISBN: 9781400832064 (electronic bk.); 1400832063 (electronic bk.).Subject(s): Church charities -- United States | Church and social problems -- United States | Faith-based human services -- United States | Church work with the poor -- United States | Civil society -- United States | Federal aid to human services -- United StatesGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: No titleDDC classification: 361.750973 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Preliminaries; Contents; List of Tables; Preface; 1. Why "Faith-Based"? Why Now?; 2. Congregation-Based Social Services; 3. Congregations as Caring Communities; 4. Religion and Volunteering; 5. Faith-Based Service Organizations; 6. The Recipients of Social Services; 7. Promoting Social Trust; 8. Experiencing Unlimited Love?; 9. Public Policy and Civil Society; Methodological Note; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index.
Summary: On January 29, 2001, President George W. Bush signed an executive order creating the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. This action marked a key step toward institutionalizing an idea that emerged in the mid-1990s under the Clinton administration--the transfer of some social programs from government control to religious organizations. However, despite an increasingly vocal, ideologically charged national debate--a debate centered on such questions as: What are these organizations doing? How well are they doing it? Should they be supported with tax dollars?--solid answ.
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Preliminaries; Contents; List of Tables; Preface; 1. Why "Faith-Based"? Why Now?; 2. Congregation-Based Social Services; 3. Congregations as Caring Communities; 4. Religion and Volunteering; 5. Faith-Based Service Organizations; 6. The Recipients of Social Services; 7. Promoting Social Trust; 8. Experiencing Unlimited Love?; 9. Public Policy and Civil Society; Methodological Note; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index.

On January 29, 2001, President George W. Bush signed an executive order creating the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. This action marked a key step toward institutionalizing an idea that emerged in the mid-1990s under the Clinton administration--the transfer of some social programs from government control to religious organizations. However, despite an increasingly vocal, ideologically charged national debate--a debate centered on such questions as: What are these organizations doing? How well are they doing it? Should they be supported with tax dollars?--solid answ.

Description based on print version record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In this fine book, Wuthnow (sociology & director, Ctr. for the Study of Religion, Princeton Univ.) carefully and clearly analyzes and evaluates the positive roles American religious entities (churches and faith-based service agencies) play in maintaining the diversity and cohesiveness of our society and the acceptance of responsibility for helping those in need. He cites numerous studies and research supporting an understanding that religion-based organizations can and do make contributions to the needy by providing both emotional and financial support. He evaluates the implications of permitting federal funding for some faith-based agencies, the distinction between these agencies and congregation-based churches, the social relationships of religious groups, and their interaction with the communities in which they operate. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries. Suzanne W. Wood, emerita, SUNY Coll. of Technology at Alfred (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

As Wuthnow (Princeton Univ.) notes in his preface, the "debate about faith-based social services has been highly partisan and highly politicized." The author steps back from the political rancor to provide a highly nuanced and empirically informed evaluation of program "scope" and "effectiveness." He notes that about half of all congregations are involved in direct support of social services, but only in rare cases do these programs constitute a significant component of a congregation's budget. While monetary contributions are limited, religious organizations also serve as "staging grounds" for service delivery by fostering care for others, voluntarism, "bonding" and "bridging" between diverse groups, and encouraging trust and love between people. A critical issue in the debate is the extent to which faith is integrated into service delivery. Wuthnow demonstrates that many faith-based organizations do not differ at all from their nonreligious counterparts, while others incorporate faith at all levels. He ends with a discussion of how faith-based social services contribute to the civic landscape, and how this role may change if a larger share of public monies becomes available to them. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All audiences. C. M. Hand Valdosta State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Robert Wuthnow is Gerhard R. Andlinger '52 Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University. His books include American Mythos: Why Our Best Efforts to Be a Better Nation Fall Short (Princeton), Acts of Compassion , and Poor Richard's Principle .

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