Faith based development : the social development perspective in Catholic social teaching : with an illustrative case study of the Ranchi Archdiocese, India
This thesis is a study of how one faith based institution, the Roman Catholic Church, has evolved over the last century, a set of principles to bring about and guide its efforts in the promotion of human welfare. The study is driven by and derives its theoretical framework from the approach to social welfare known as social development. The social development approach is characterized as a process of intentional social change to bring about sustainable human well-being. This change is envisaged as harmonizing human development in all its facets: social, political, personal cultural, spiritual and economic. Using historical analysis, the thesis develops and delineates from social development a set of components with which to examine the principles in the Church's Social Teaching allied to the promotion of human welfare. The study demonstrates striking common conceptual foundations, mutuality of purpose and influence between 'secular' social development and that of the Church's approach to social development and illustrates a convergence and congruence in methodology between the two approaches. Foremost among the similarities is that the Church, in accord with 'secular' social development, holds as normative an integrated developmental process that joins all dimensions of human experience-social, economic, spiritual, political and cultural-to enhance and promote human well-being. The similarities notwithstanding, the analysis also points to fundamental divergences between the two approaches that largely emanate from the Church's institutional structure and its faith orientation to social development, which are in some senses irreconcilable with 'secular' social development. These conclusions are reached through careful historical and textual analysis as well as through the development of an illustrative case of the Catholic Archdiocese of Ranchi. This local level study, which also used interview methods, provided an opportunity to examine how the Church's social development principles emerged, were influenced and have been applied in Church action for human well-being in one local development context of India.