For God so loved the world: the politics of religious community service
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A case study of seven religious institutions in the Greater Boston Area, this paper attempts to analyze the similarities and differences between religious-based and state-based social service programs beginning by examining the motivations of religious leaders and the influence various conceptions of poverty have on religious poverty programs and outreach. The paper begins with an overview of the current literature on the effects of government welfare programs and policies on the populations they target. It then continues with common categorizations of poverty used by scholars to understand government programs and concludes by using these categories as a starting point for understanding the points of view of local religious leaders towards the people they serve.
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