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Welfare-to-Work in Los Angeles
A front-burner issue on the public policy agenda today is the increased use of partnerships between government and nongovernmental entities, including faith-based social service organizations. In the wake of President Bush's faith-based initiative, many are still wondering about the effectiveness of these faith-based organizations in providing services to those in need, and whether they provide better outcomes than more traditional government, secular nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. In Faith, Hope, and Jobs, Stephen V. Monsma and J. Christopher Soper study the effectiveness of 17 different welfare-to-work programs in Los Angeles Countyùa county in which the U.S. government spends 14% of its entire welfare budgetùand offer groundbreaking insight into understanding what works and what doesn't. Monsma and Soper examine client assessment of the programs, their progress in developing attitudes and resources important for finding self-supporting employment, and their experience in finding actual employment. The study reveals that the clients of the more explicitly faith-based programs did best in gaining in social capital and were highly positive in evaluating the religious components of their programs. For-profit programs tended to do the best in terms of their clients finding employment. Overall, the religiously active respondents tended to experience better outcomes than those who were not religiously active but surprisingly, the religiously active and non-active tended to do equally well in faith-based programs. Faith, Hope, and Jobs concludes with three sets of concrete recommendations for public policymakers, social service program managers, and researchers.
John Dewey's Early Philosophy
This is the first book to consider John Dewey's early philosophy on its own terms and to explicate its key ideas. It does so through the fullest treatment to date of his youthful masterwork, the Psychology. This fuller treatment reveals that the received view, which sees Dewey's early philosophy as unimportant in its own right, is deeply mistaken. In fact, Dewey's early philosophy amounts to an important new form of idealism. More specifically, Dewey's idealism contains a new logic of rupture, which allows us to achieve four things: A focus on discontinuity that challenges all naturalistic views, including Dewey's own later view; A space of critical resistance to events that is at the same time the source of ideals; A faith in the development of ideals that challenges pessimists like Schopenhauer and Nietzsche; and A non-traditional reading of Hegel that invites comparison with cutting-edge Continental philosophers, such as Adorno, Derrida, and Zizek, and even goes beyond them in its systematic approach;In making these discoveries, the author forges a new link between American and European philosophy, showing how they share similar insights and concerns. He also provides an original assessment of Dewey's relationship to his teacher, George Sylvester Morris, and to other important thinkers of the day, giving us a fresh picture of John Dewey, the man and the philosopher, in the early years of his career. Readers will find a wide range of topics discussed, from Dewey's early reflections on Kant and Hegel to the nature of beauty, courage, sympathy, hatred, love, and even death and despair. This is a book for anyone interested in the thought of John Dewey, American pragmatism, Continental Philosophy, or a new idealism appearing on the scene.
Preaching Radical Social Change in Detroit
“The dynamics of Black Theology were at the center of the ‘Long New Negro Renaissance,’ triggered by mass migrations to industrial hubs like Detroit. Finally, this crucial subject has found its match in the brilliant scholarship of Angela Dillard. No one has done a better job of tracing those religious roots through the civil rights–black power era than Professor Dillard.” —Komozi Woodard, Professor of History, Public Policy & Africana Studies at Sarah Lawrence College and author of A Nation within a Nation: Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Black Power Politics “Angela Dillard recovers the long-submerged links between the black religious and political lefts in postwar Detroit. . . . Faith in the City is an essential contribution to the growing literature on the struggle for racial equality in the North.” —Thomas J. Sugrue, University of Pennsylvania, author of The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit Spanning more than three decades and organized around the biographies of Reverends Charles A. Hill and Albert B. Cleage Jr., Faith in the City is a major new exploration of how the worlds of politics and faith merged for many of Detroit’s African Americans—a convergence that provided the community with a powerful new voice and identity. While other religions have mixed politics and creed, Faith in the City shows how this fusion was and continues to be particularly vital to African American clergy and the Black freedom struggle. Activists in cities such as Detroit sustained a record of progressive politics over the course of three decades. Angela Dillard reveals this generational link and describes what the activism of the 1960s owed to that of the 1930s. The labor movement, for example, provided Detroit’s Black activists, both inside and outside the unions, with organizational power and experience virtually unmatched by any other African American urban community. Angela D. Dillard is Associate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. She specializes in American and African American intellectual history, religious studies, critical race theory, and the history of political ideologies and social movements in the United States.
Suffering and Divine Healing in American Culture, 1860–1900
Faith in the Great Physician tells the story of how participants in the evangelical divine healing movement of the late nineteenth century transformed the ways Americans coped with physical affliction and pursued bodily health. Examining the politics of sickness, health, and healing during this period, Heather D. Curtis encourages critical reflection on the theological, cultural, and social forces that come into play when one questions the purpose of suffering and the possibility of healing. Curtis finds that advocates of divine healing worked to revise a deep-seated Christian ethic that linked physical suffering with spiritual holiness. By engaging in devotional disciplines and participating in social reform efforts, proponents of faith cure embraced a model of spiritual experience that endorsed active service, rather than passive endurance, as the proper Christian response to illness and pain. Emphasizing the centrality of religious practices to the enterprise of divine healing, Curtis sheds light on the relationship among Christian faith, medical science, and the changing meanings of suffering and healing in American culture.
Second-Generation Spirituality in Korean American Churches
Second-generation Korean Americans, demonstrating an unparalleled entrepreneurial fervor, are establishing new churches with a goal of shaping the future of American Christianity. A Faith of Our Own investigates the development and growth of these houses of worship, a recent and rapidly increasing phenomenon in major cities throughout the United States. Including data gathered over ten years at twenty-two churches, it is the most comprehensive study of this topic that addresses generational, identity, political, racial, and empowerment issues.
This book of original essays provides a dialogue between four of the most distinguished scholars now working on problems of faith, reason, and skepticism. In their essays, William P. Alston, Robert Audi, Terence Penelhum, and Richard H. Popkin address both the corrosive and the constructive influences of skepticism on Christian and Jewish concepts of faith. The authors treat questions of perennial interest in philosophy of religion: the bases of human knowledge of God, the place of reason in religious belief, the difference between religious beliefs and those based on common sense, and the reconcilability of skepticism with religious belief. In terms of current epistemology, Alston explores the implications of reliabilism for Christian knowledge of God. Audi develops a concept of non-doxastic faith, which contrasts with flat-out beliefs, arguing that such faith can support a full range of Christian attitudes and ethics. Penelhum contends that religious beliefs cannot be defended in the same way as beliefs of common sense, and thus natural theology is essential. Popkin demonstrates, in a richly historical study, that Jewish skepticism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was used and can be used to neutralize questionable metaphysical theology while leaving a mysticism and spirituality without creed or institution. The essays are preceded by an Editorâ€™s Introduction and the volume concludes with a unifying dialogue between the four authors.
Daniel Berrigan's Challenge to Catholic Social Thought
The book presents Daniel Berrigan's contribution and challenge to Catholic Social Thought. His contribution lies in his consistent, comprehensive, theoretical, and practical approach to issues of social justice and peace over the last fifty years. His challenge lies in his critique of capitalism, imperialism, and militarism, inviting Catholic activists and thinkers to undertake not just a reformist but a radical critique and alternative to these realities. The aim of this book is, for the first time, to make Berrigan's thought and life available to the academic Catholic community, so that a fruitful interaction takes place. How does this work enlighten and challenge such a community? How can this community enrich and criticize his work?To these ends, the editors have recruited scholars and thinker-activists already familiar with and sympathetic to Berrigan's work and those who are less so identified. The result is a rich, engaging, and critical treatment of the meaning and impact of his work. What kind of challenge does he present to academic-business-as-usual in Catholic universities? How can the life and work of individual Catholic academics be transformed if such persons took Berrigan's work seriously, theoretically and practically? Do Catholic universities need Berrigan's vision to fulfill more integrally and completely their own mission? Does the self-knowing subject and theorist need to become a radical subject and theorist?Even though the appeal of academics is important and perhaps primary, because of the range and depth of his work and thought and the power of his writing, there is a larger appeal to the Catholic community and to activists working for social justice and peace. The work has, therefore, not only a theoretical and academic appeal but also a popular and grass roots appeal.Given the current and on-going US military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Berrigan's work invites us to think about the justice of such interventions or, given the destructiveness of modern weapons, whether the notion of just war makes any sense. Given the recent crisis on Wall Street, does it make sense any longer to talk about the possibility of a just capitalism? Given the most recent revelations about Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram, is it not imperative to think about how torture, preventative detention, and extraordinary rendition serve the ends of empire? In light of all of this, doesn't Berrigan's call for a pacific, prophetic community of justice rooted in the Good News of the Gospel make compelling sense?
African American Historical Writing in Nineteenth-Century America
The civil rights and black power movements expanded popular awareness of the history and culture of African Americans. But, as Stephen Hall observes, African American authors, intellectuals, ministers, and abolitionists had been writing the history of the black experience since the 1800s. With this book, Hall recaptures and reconstructs a rich but largely overlooked tradition of historical writing by African Americans.
Popular Christian Media and Gendered Civic Identities
For decades, American popular media have instructed audiences about their roles and significance in the public sphere. In The Faithful Citizen, rhetorical critic Kristy Maddux argues that popular Christian media not only communicate avenues for civic engagement but do so in profoundly gendered terms. Her detailed interrogation of popular Christian movies, books, and television shows—the Left Behind series, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, Amazing Grace, 7th Heaven, and the blockbuster The Da Vinci Code—exposes five competing models of how Christians should behave in the civic sphere as their gendered selves. What emerges is a typology that insightfully reveals how these varying faith-based models of engagement uniquely shape public discourse and influence the larger picture of contemporary politics.