1st Edition

Tearfund and the Quest for Faith-Based Development

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 1, 2021
ISBN 9780367777647
April 1, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
208 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

This book gives an in-depth analysis of the role of faith in the work of Tearfund, a leading evangelical relief and development NGO that works in over 50 countries worldwide.

The study traces the changing ways that faith has shaped and influenced Tearfund’s work over the organisation’s 50-year history. It shows how Tearfund has consciously grappled with the role of faith in its work and has invested considerable time and energy in developing an intentionally faith-based approach t relief and development that in several ways is quite different to the approaches of secular relief and development NGOs. The book charts the different perspectives and possibilities that were not taken and the internal discussions about theology, development practices, and humanitarian standards that took place as Tearfund worked out for itself what it meant to be a faith-based relief and development organisation. There is a growing academic literature about religion and development, as well as increasing interest from development ministries of many Northern governments in understanding the role of religion in development and the specific challenges and benefits involved in working with faith-based organisations. However, there are very few studies of actual faith-based organisations and no book-length detailed studies showing how such an organisation operates in practice and how it integrates its faith into its work.

In documenting the story of Tearfund, the book provides important insights into the practice and ethos of faith-based organisations, which will be of interest to other FBOs and to researchers of religion and development.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Religious and Secular Actors in the Emergence of Humanitarianism and Development  Part 1. A New Kind of Missionary Organisation  3. Tearfund’s First Twenty-Five Years, 1968 – 1993 Part 2. Emerging as a Development NGO  4. Tearfund Joins the Mainstream, 1990-2005  5. The Religious Revitalists and the Quest for Transformation  6. The Globalists and the Localists: The Start of Campaigning and Advocacy  Part 3. Becoming an FBO  7. Trying to Institutionalise Faith-Based Approaches, 2005 – 2015  8. Mainstreaming Faith-Based Development, 2015 Onwards  Part 4. Paradoxes of Faith-Based Development  9. Conclusion


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Dena Freeman is a Senior Visiting Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science, where she is also a member of the Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy and an Associate of the International Inequalities Institute. Her previous books include Pentecostalism and Development: Churches, NGOs and Social Change in Africa (2012), Peripheral People: The Excluded Minorities of Ethiopia (2003), and Initiating Change in Highland Ethiopia: Causes and Consequences of Cultural Transformation (2002).