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What should the Church’s ‘prophetic voices’ be calling for?

Jenny Sinclair @T4CG shares a thought-provoking short piece:

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Open AccessArticle Politics, Poverty and the Church in an ‘Age of Austerity’ in Religions 2023, 14(1), 59; by Chris Shannahan * and Stephanie Denning Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University, Coventry CV1 2TL, UK Abstract The ‘Age of Austerity’ has ruptured the social fabric of contemporary Britain. Arising from our three-year Life on the Breadline project, this article represents the first fieldwork-led analysis of the multidimensional nature of austerity-age poverty by academic theologians in the UK. The article analyses the impact that austerity has had on Christian responses to poverty and inequality in the UK. We draw on our six ethnographic case studies and interview responses from over 120 national and regional Church leaders to exemplify the four approaches to the Christian engagement with poverty that we identified during our research: ‘caring’, ‘campaigning and advocacy’, ‘enterprise’ and ‘community building’. We argue that the Church needs to grasp the systemic, multidimensional and violent nature of poverty in order to realise the potential embedded in its extensive social capital and fulfil its goal of ‘transforming structural injustice’. The paper shows that the Church remains nervous of moving beyond welfare-based responses to poverty and suggests that none of the existing approaches can force poverty into retreat until the Church re-imagines itself as a liberative movement that embodies God’s preferential option for the poor in every aspect of its life and practice.

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You can now read the winter issue of our SPARK newsletter online - click here! SPARK is Church Action on Poverty's print newsletter, circulated to all of our supporters three times a year. The winter 2022-23 issue has been sent out to all our supporters in print - but you can also read it online if you like. Read about our impact in 2021-22, hear about our work exploring churches on the margins, and learn how church leaders can transofrm discussions about poverty.

If you could share printed copies of SPARK in your church, just send Liam Percy an email and he'll be happy to add you to the mailing list.

Download SPARK now!

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