Chapter

Introduction: religion and social policy – an “old–new” partnership

Rana Jawad

in Social welfare and religion in the Middle East

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9781861349538
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303510 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861349538.003.0001
Introduction: religion and social policy – an “old–new” partnership

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Religious faith has a major part to play in the formation of values that guide the modern world. It also has a prominent role in the advancement of progress. It is believed that Faith and Reason and Faith and Progress have an alliance rather than contention. Once the muse of the founding fathers of social sciences, today religion has become mostly associated with the regressive impulse and has become a cultural artefact. By the turn of the 1970s, few scholars had imagined the centrality of religion in the new millennium. However, in the last decades, religion has found its prominence again, seen in the centrality of faith and religion in social and political mobilisations worldwide. This book questions the relevance of religion to model social welfare. It focuses on the Middle East region, deemed the most religious capital of the world. It seeks to open up a broader debate on the contribution of religiously inspired social welfare to the study and practice of contemporary social policy. In examining the role of religious welfare, specifically of Islam in the Middle East, this book aims not only to contribute to the understanding of social welfare practices and institutions in the Islamic tradition, but also to elucidate on how social welfare provision constitutes the comparative advantage that major Islamic social movements like the Hizbullah, Hamas, the Justice and Development Party, and the Muslim Brotherhood have over their respective governing state bodies.

Keywords: religious faith; values; religion; faith; Middle East; social welfare

Chapter.  11939 words. 

Subjects: Sociology of Religion

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