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Short Title

Congregations in the Community

Abstract

A complex mix of community and government activities address social welfare needs. Even with structural changes, communities are active in assessing and providing for their own members’ needs, though in widely variable forms. Religious organizations are key in community social welfare. This project investigates the role of religion in social welfare provision at the local community level. Examining religion’s participation contributes to the understanding of religion’s role in the public sphere as moral commentator, contributor to the common good, and identity legitimation. This article uses a functionalist theoretical framework and case study data to discuss congregations and social welfare provision.

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