Faith-based development of World Vision Tanzania
Hasu, P. (2018). Faith-based development of World Vision Tanzania. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 33 (3), 389-406. doi:10.1080/13537903.2018.1535361
Published inJournal of Contemporary Religion
© 2018 Taylor & Francis
This article examines how faith is intertwined in conceptions of development in the work of World Vision Tanzania, a faith-based organisation focusing on child welfare. Issues that are explored include the question how an apparently common faith setting constitutes and provides a source of social meanings and values for the assessment of human development as well as secular development concepts such as human agency and empowerment. The analysis shows how World Vision staff assign different values to Christian and non-Christian development when assessing the potential and achievements of the beneficiaries in terms of secular concepts. It is argued that a faith-based worldview in this context provides the foundation for the specific set of values and social meanings, which are examined in this article, and a source for these more generally when value judgements and assessments of agency, empowerment, freedom, and, ultimately, well-being are made. It is further suggested that, by employing ideas of freedom, agency, and empowerment and investing them with Christian meaning, World Vision is able to generate a portrait of itself and its beneficiaries that is positioned in a hierarchy of values where Christian ideals and secular development fuse and become paramount. ...
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