This book explores the vital role of faith-based organizations (FBOs) in compensating for the market’s and government’s inability to provide vital services. Its key theoretical contribution is the notion that poverty is the result of a triadic failure—when markets, government, and civil society become dysfunctional at the same time. Using data on Catholic missionaries’ development work, this study presents the various ways by which FBOs mitigate market and government failures in healthcare, education, and social services, and in the process build and strengthen civil society.
This study has two main objectives. First, it aims to present an overview of missionaries’ development work, evaluating the socioeconomic significance of their faith-based development work. In addition, various comparative advantages and disadvantages have been imputed to FBOs in the religion-development literature, and we assess to what extent missionaries actually exhibit these posited qualities in practice. Second, the groundwork is laid for future religion-development scholars by presenting a theoretical framework and a method for evaluating the role and contributions of FBOs in the larger community.
This is an important investigation of contemporary worldwide Christianity and its relationship with development. As such, it will interest scholars of religious studies and missiology, as well as development economics, public service and the political economy.
1 Missionary Healthcare Services and their Outreach to the Ultra-Poor
2 Missionary Educational Initiatives for Children and Youth at-Risk
3 Missionary Social Services and their Positive Externalities for Development
4 Missionaries’ "Last-Mile" Comparative Advantages
5 Summary and Evaluation
The aim of this series is to publish scholarly works of high merit on relations between believers of various streams of Christianity, as well as relations between believers of Christianity and other religions. We welcome studies from all disciplines, including multi- and interdisciplinary studies, which focus on intra- and inter-religious relations and are non-denominational.
Francis Clooney (Cambridge, USA)
Fatimah Husein (Yogyakarta, Indonesia)
Diego Irarrazaval (Santiago, Chile)
Robert Schreiter (Chicago, USA)
Abdulkader Tayob (Cape Town, South Africa)
Anya Topolski (Nijmegen, The Netherlands)