This book gives an in-depth analysis of the role of faith in the work of Tearfund, a leading evangelical relief and development NGO that works in over 50 countries worldwide.
The study traces the changing ways that faith has shaped and influenced Tearfund’s work over the organisation’s 50-year history. It shows how Tearfund has consciously grappled with the role of faith in its work and has invested considerable time and energy in developing an intentionally faith-based approach to relief and development that in several ways is quite different to the approaches of secular relief and development NGOs. The book charts the different perspectives and possibilities that were not taken and the internal discussions about theology, development practices, and humanitarian standards that took place as Tearfund worked out for itself what it meant to be a faith-based relief and development organisation. There is a growing academic literature about religion and development, as well as increasing interest from development ministries of many Northern governments in understanding the role of religion in development and the specific challenges and benefits involved in working with faith-based organisations. However, there are very few studies of actual faith-based organisations and no book-length detailed studies showing how such an organisation operates in practice and how it integrates its faith into its work.
In documenting the story of Tearfund, the book provides important insights into the practice and ethos of faith-based organisations, which will be of interest to other FBOs and to researchers of religion and development.