Synopses & Reviews
Rising Expectations examines the current attempts to enlist religious congregations as partners in social services and community development. It highlights stark demographic realities about urban congregations in order to challenge current assumptions about welfare reform and to encourage realistic expectations for the future. Both governmental officials and civic leaders are calling on religious congregations to become more active partners in social welfare reforms, especially through Charitable Choice. Based on research conducted in Indianapolis, Indiana, Farnsley examines the context for those changes and evaluates the current and potential role for congregations as community development agencies and social service providers. Farnsley begins with an assessment of congregations, seen as one interdependent piece in a complex urban environment. He then deals with the three basic assumptions about congregations that drive contemporary faith-based reforms: "How well do congregations know their neighbors?" "Is smaller better?" and "Can congregations impart values?" Finally, the book considers plans for future implementation or expansion of reform.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -134) and index.
About the Author
Arthur E. Farnsley II is Senior Research Associate at The Polis Center, an urban think-tank. His commentary on religion, politics, and public life has appeared in magazines and on the op-ed pages of newspapers across the country, as well as in academic journals and in the book Southern Baptist Politics (Penn State Press, 1994). During the late 1990's, he consulted on Indianapolis's most prominent experiments in faith-based social service partnerships.
Table of Contents
Preliminary Table of Contents:
1. Congregations as Community Organizations
2. Congregations as Urban Organizations
3. Types of Congregations
4. How Well Do Congregations Know Their Neighbors?
5. Is Smaller Better?
6. Can Congregations Impart Values?
7. What Happens to Congregations?
8. Crossing Boundaries Cautiously
9. Realistic Expectations