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Saving America?
Faith-Based Services and the Future of Civil Society
Robert Wuthnow

Book Description | Reviews
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF format]


List of Tables ix
Preface xiii
1. Why "Faith-Based"? Why Now? 1
Bringing Evidence to Bear 5
Beyond the Modernization Story 9
The Faith-Based Services Debate 12
Religion as an Embedded Practice 17
A Civil Society? 22
2. Congregation-Based Social Services 25
Formal Sponsorship of Service Programs 28
Members' Awareness of Service Programs 42
Congregations' Financial Contribution 46
Which Congregations Do More? 52
How Service Programs Are Organized 57
Conclusions and Unanswered Questions 61
3. Congregations as Caring Communities 64
Emphasizing the Value of Caring 66
Congregations as Civic Space 70
Caring in Small Groups 74
Congregations as Sources of Social Capital 79
Gregariousness 84
Congregations as Sources of Influential Friends 89
Overcoming Status Distinctions 92
Summing Up 94
4. Religion and Volunteering 99
What Surveys Show 102
Who Volunteers More? 106
Is Faith-Based Volunteering Different? 115
Volunteering and Connectedness 119
Motivations for Volunteering 121
Barriers to Volunteering 132
Some Unresolved Questions 135
5. Faith-Based Service Organizations 138
How Many Faith-Based Organizations Are There? 140
How is Faith Involved? 142
How Faith-Based Organizations Function 150
Arguments about Effectiveness 158
The Role of Faith in Nonsectarian Organizations 161
Challenges and Strategies 165
Conclusions 171
6. The Recipients of Social Services 176
Census Bureau Information 177
Evidence from Other Sources 181
Religious Characteristics of the Lower-Income Population 185
Needs and Services in a Small City 191
Conclusions 213
7. Promoting Social Trust 217
Trust among Lower-Income People 219
Desirable Traits of Caregivers 222
Tr ustworthiness of Service Providers 228
A Closer Look at Trust 232
Trust within Families and among Friends 240
Trust in Congregations 243
Trust in Service Agencies 247
When Trust Is Broken 250
The Social Contribution of Trust 254
8. Experiencing Unlimited Love? 256
How Caregivers Talk about Love 261
Do Recipients Experience Love? 269
The Role of Faith 275
Consequences of Receiving Care 279
Limited Love and the Realities of Social Life 284
9. Public Policy and Civil Society 286
Support for Government-Religion Partnerships 288
The Christian Conservative Movement 297
Is Civil Society One-Dimensional? 305
Methodological Note 311
Notes 315
Select Bibliography 333
Index 349

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File created: 4/21/2017

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