Conceptualizing Religious Action

During the 1980s and 1990s, dramatic changes occurred in the United States welfare system as the federal government relinquished some of its responsibility for social welfare to local governments, private organizations, and nonprofit agencies. The Charitable Choice provision (section 104 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) under former President William J. Clinton and the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives under former President George W. Bush facilitated this transfer of control by broadening the scope of social service delivery by faith-based organizations. Considering the shift in governance, it is important to better understand the role of religious organizations as community care providers in light of decreased federal responsibility.

Through interviews with clergy in Uptown Cincinnati, this project will focus on the types and nature of care being offered to community residents by congregations in Uptown. A public directory of these services will be available in the summer of 2009. The interviews will also provide data on Uptown congregational demographics, community building involvement both presently and historically, theological motivations for providing care and services, and barriers faced as congregations work jointly with other organizations in providing community care.

For more information, contact the Community Desing Center at (513)556-3282 or

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