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Title: Struggling toward a new earth : the integration of faith and development practice within Christian Aid with particular reference to a Brazilian partner, Centro de Estudos e Ação Social
Author: Cooper, Thia
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis addresses the following question: what is the Christian contribution that a faith-based agency such as Christian Aid brings to development practice. It explores the integration of theological reflection with development work and advocacy in two faith-based organisations: Christian Aid (CA), a UK relief and development organisation and one of its overseas partners, Centro de Estudos e Ação Social (CEAS), a Brazilian Jesuit-based community development organisation. Such a question has been overlooked by many people working within development in the North but is often central to agencies in the South. Stemming from liberation theology, this thesis argues that the practice of these organisations is both developmental (economic, political, and cultural) and theological. It analyses two components arising out of the integration of faith and development. The first component is the methodology of action and reflection, the hermeneutic circle, that these organisations follow. The second is the content, the issues, emerging from the reflection. The first chapter analyses the method of the hermeneutic circle. This circle critically reflects in community on reality and spirituality, each in the light of the other. This thesis followed a similar method in its formation. The practice and reflection of CA and CEAS were considered through participant observation in both organisations with subsequent theological reflection. The following chapters explore the movement through the hermeneutic circle. First is the analysis of reality. CA’s acceptance of the development paradigm and globalisation is explored through its current focus: a campaign for fairer international trade. CEAS, in contrast, rejects economic development and globalisation. It focuses on the political realm encouraging the poorest communities to struggle with the local government, building their capacity as citizens. CA supporters also consider alternatives to development and globalisation, focusing on the local rather than the global and on the political as well as the economic realm.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available