Re-evaluating value in faith-based social action
Dinham, Adam (2017)


This article reports on a project to explore the application of a mainstream community evaluation tool in faith-based settings. The project 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 that is reflective in ways that connect to deep solidarity and relationships, seen as rooted in their faith. The second concerns the question of whether the faith dimension adds anything distinctive, and whether it ought to be
visible. This potentially challenges wider sociological debates about a public sphere in which faith is discussed only in terms of what Habermas calls ‘public reasons’ (ie, non-religious terms). The article concludes that evaluation in faith-based settings is valued when it is connected to
reflection, and the process could be used to make visible the faith dimension in pursuit of transparency and accountability.


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