Booting the devil out the back door, the church as a change agent in inner-city recovery

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Roberts, Roderick
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Many explanations, such as structural adjustment or aberrant behavioral patterns, declare the causalities of urban decay. Consequently, various agents of change, ranging from policy-makers to faith communities, have attempted inner-city revitalization. This thesis makes two assertions. The first is that basic social and economic forces limit urban recovery efforts. Given that assumption, the second is that the Church, or individual churches thereof, is essential to the revitalization process. The research analyzes the historic and contemporary efforts of the Church towards the betterment of society. The study is not intended to disregard the influence of non-Christian organizations; rather, it highlights the work of the Western world's dominant faith community. The experiences of the author, administrative officials, and clergy (among others) provide insight on the impact of church work. The investigation also discusses the viability of any recovery effort and the conclusion argues the Church's growing relevance to urban renewal processes.