Faiths Public Policy And Civil Society

Using empirical data and theory, this book explores the role of faiths as public actors; their contribution to welfare services, how they help build community cohesion -- and break it down -- and what it means for them and for others to be involved in new modes of governance. It asks does their emphatic presence threaten the public table, or might it stimulate a new and helpful way of doing things? The very idea of faiths at the public table raises controversy: what 'faith' is and what 'faiths' are, the relationship between faiths, public policy and civil society; and questions about the role -- for that matter the legitimacy -- of public faith. This book brings those controversies to the surface and rethinks what faiths bring to the public sphere. Review: 'Whatever your perspective you will value this contribution to understanding 'faith at the public table'. Controversy and not a little misunderstanding surround these themes; this book provides a sure footed exploration of the policies, politics and importantly the social theories and philosophies that many choose to ignore. A very welcome contribution.' - Richard Farnell, Applied Research Centre in Sustainable Regeneration, Coventry University, UK 'He highlights the need to use both social science and theology to understand faiths, and for those engaging with faiths to start 'where they are, in all their locatedness' -British Journal of Social Work '...this is a superb book that will be essential reading to scholars of the sociology of religion and social policy.' -Sociology

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