SIPP Public Policy Papers 53
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This study uses interviews with leaders of faith-based justice groups in Regina to examine how they apply their religious resources for the goal of social change, and in this way make religious faith public. There has been a global resurgence of religion in the public sphere in recent decades, but not all such religion is violent or conservative. Indeed, many instances of religious resurgence are the activities of groups interested in social transformation for the benefit of all, not only of their co-religionists, and who work well with groups of other ideological commitments. Regina has a handful of such groups—some locally based and some which are the local branches of national organizations—so Regina may be a microcosm of larger phenomena. This study finds that faith-based social justice groups in Regina are closely connected with each other and with other non-governmental organizations, even across religious and secular differences. They act primarily in the realm of civil society instead of in direct political contestation, and in most cases their activities are oriented to changing the mentalities and practices of their own co-religionists. While their criticism of many practices of mainstream society, business, government, and sometimes even mainstream religion, places them within the margins of their sponsoring religious bodies, nevertheless, they are all strongly supported, materially and morally, by these same bodies.