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Introduction to the Special Issue on Faith-Based Organizing in the USA

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image of International Journal of Public Theology

AbstractThis article serves as an introduction to faith-based community organizing and to this special issue of IJPT. First, an overview of the history of community organizing in the US includes introductions to the key figures (Saul Alinsky and Ed Chambers), organizing networks and methods currently employed. Then current challenges to community organizing are explored, such as technology, gender and race. Further, the rigid distinction between broad-based and issue organizing is challenged. Finally, the article notes that the impact of Barack Obama’s background as a community organizer on political discourse has raised the profile of this form of social mobilization, and it is reframing the questions raised for public theologians as community organizing moves into the future.

Affiliations: 1: Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia USA, URL:


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