Reevaluating Value in Faith Based Social Action

Dinham, Adam. 2017. Reevaluating Value in Faith Based Social Action. Voluntary Sector Review, 8(2), pp. 205-218. ISSN 2040-8056 [Article]

DINHAM FINAL SUBMITTED.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (232kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This article reports on a project to explore the application of a mainstream community evaluation tool in faith-based settings. The primary purpose of the project was to ensure that an effective tool could be made available to faith-based organisations. A secondary concern was to consider whether and how faith-based projects’ own values and value could be engaged using such a tool. Working with seven faith-based social action projects, the study made two key findings. The first concerns a distinction between instrumental evaluative processes on the one hand and values-based ones on the other, in which these faith-based settings emphasised evaluation which is reflective in ways which connect to deep solidarity and relationships. These faith-based settings see this reflective relationality as rooted in their faith, and the article considers the claim that their faith-base renders a particular predisposition to relationality. The second concerns the question of whether the faith dimension in faith-based social action adds anything distinctive, and whether the faith dimension ought to be made visible. This connects to and potentially challenges wider sociological debates, rooted in Habermas, about a public sphere in which faith is discussed only in ‘public reasons’ (that is, non-religious terms). The article concludes that evaluation in faith-based settings is valued when it is connected to deep reflection, and that this process could be used to make visible the faith dimension of faith-based social action in pursuit of transparency and accountability.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Faiths and Civil Society


23 April 2017Accepted
1 July 2017Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

23 May 2017 13:55

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:47

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)