The Theology of Welfare: Protestants, Catholics, and Jews in Conversation about Welfare
Mastin, Paul, Journal of Church and State
The Theology of Welfare: Protestants, Catholics, and Jews in Conversation about Welfare. By John G. West, Jr., and Sonja E. West. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America and Discovery Institute, 2000. 206 pp. n.p.
Introduce the topic of welfare to any mixed group, and you will certainly elicit a variety of strongly held opinions. When that mixed group is carefully selected to represent Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish faith traditions, as well as a range of conservative to liberal political perspectives, the result turns out something like The Theology of Welfare. John and Sonja West gathered such a diverse group for a series of conversations held over two days, and have compiled and edited the conversations into this lively volume.
The Theology of Welfare is divided into five chapters, What is Human Nature?, What is Evil?, What is the Purpose of Government and Civic Life?, What Would a Biblical Welfare Program Look Like?, and Questions for Discussion and Study. Some readers may be put off by the theological disputes recorded in the first two chapters, but the distinctions and varied undertakings discussed therein provide important background and foundations for the more specific policy proposals of chapters three and four. These conversations make it clear that the policy distinctions between the participants are rooted not only in their political commitments, but also in basic theological convictions. Interestingly enough, the theological distinctions do not always divide clearly along religious lines. Throughout the course of the book, alliances are drawn, sometimes unexpectedly, across religious and political lines.
The religious lines blur most drastically in chapters three and four, in the discussions about the scope of government and the nature of the ideal welfare …
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Publication information: Article title: The Theology of Welfare: Protestants, Catholics, and Jews in Conversation about Welfare. Contributors: Mastin, Paul - Author. Journal title: Journal of Church and State. Volume: 44. Issue: 1 Publication date: Winter 2002. Page number: 178+. © 1999 J.M. Dawson Studies in Church and State. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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