- Focuses on anthropological analyses of and engagements with Christian faith-based organizations (FBOs).
- Examines the varied and shifting meanings of religiosity, volunteerism, "doing good," development, charity, and justice
- Calls for a greater understanding of the macro-level promises and pitfalls of increasing reliance on FBOs to design and deliver social services and development
- Redresses the imbalance of anthropological studies that have focused on the role of secular NGOs
About the Author
Keri Vacanti Brondo (Ph.D.; Michigan State University, 2006) is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Memphis, where she teaches in the areas of gender, development and social justice, environmental anthropology, and applied participatory action research and assessment. Her research with the afro-indigenous Garifuna community of Honduras focuses on the intersection of the gendered impacts of neoliberal agrarian reform, indigenous rights, and territorial control in the context of tourism development. She served as the Senior Social Scientist for Operation Wallacea (2005–07) in the Cayos Cochinos Marine Protected Area of Honduras, designing and implementing a multiyear project to assess the socioeconomic impacts of regulations on natural resource extraction, as well as expectations and potential for ecotourism development within five Garifuna communities. With Robert Connolly, her research focuses on understanding the intersection of faith and community development work through a case study of a Mississippi Episcopal medical mission to Panama. In the Memphis area, her work focuses on cultural heritage, social and environmental justice, and sustainable communities. She is active in leadership within the American Anthropological Association, and served on the Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology (COSWA) from 2005 to 2007 (Chair, 2006–07), and on the Committee for Applied, Practicing, and Public Interest Anthropology (CoPAPIA, 2009–present).
Tara Hefferan (Ph.D.; Michigan State University, 2006) is a visiting assistant professor at Central Michigan University, where she teaches courses in anthropology and sociology, focusing on issues of social justice and human rights. Her research interests include the anthropology of development, faith-based organizations, and volunteerism. She has conducted ethnographic research on these issues in Haiti and the United States, with a particular focus on Catholic Church partnerships and projects. A secondary research interest focuses on political mobilizations, midwifery, and women's reproduction. Her current ethnographic research explores the discourses and practices of U.S. direct-entry midwives as they lobby state governments for formal recognition and licensing standards. Dr. Hefferan is the author of Twinning Faith and Development: Catholic Parish Partnering in the US and Haiti (Kumarian Press, 2007), and a coeditor with Julie Adkins and Laurie Occhipinti of Bridging the Gaps: Faith-based Organizations, Neoliberalism, and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (Lexington Books, 2009) and Not by Faith Alone: Social Services, Social Justice, and Faith-based Organizations in the US (Lexington Books, in press).
Table of Contents
The Anthropology of Faith and Development: An Introduction (Tara Hefferan, Tim Fogarty).
Body and Soul: Faith, Development, Community, and Social Science in Nicaragua (James Phillips).
Incarnational Theology and the Gospel: Exploring the Mississippi Model of Episcopal Medical Missions to Panama (Robert P. Connolly, Keri Vacanti Brondo).
“Saving” Malawi: Faithful Responses to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (Andrea Freidus).
Pan-Latin Radical Hospitality: Faith-Based HIV/AIDS Education in the South Bronx (Debra J. Pelto, María Isabel Santiviago).
A Faith-Based Mental Health and Development Project for Slum Dwellers in Brazil (Sidney M. Greenfield).
Operationalizing Opportunities and Creating Publics in Salvadoran Churches: Findings from an Ethnographic Process Evaluation (James Huff).
Disparate Power and Disparate Resources: Collaboration Between Faith-Based and Activist Organizations for Central Florida Farmworkers (Nolan Kline).
Practicing What We Preach: The Possibilities of Participatory Action Research with Faith-Based Organizations (Katherine Lambert-Pennington).
Resource Guide for Anthropologists Working in Faith-Based Development (Keri Vacanti Brondo, Tara Hefferan).