Science & Tech

The U.S. and faith-based social initiatives

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Harvard Divinity School book addresses promises and perils

U.S. President George W. Bush has signaled that he is serious about offering federal support to faith-based social service initiatives. What does that mean for the separation of church and state, and how will it affect the country? A collection of essays published by Harvard Divinity School points out that religious motivation has often generated models of service that are more personal and more respectful than other models. But religious communities cannot go it alone. If social needs are “dumped” at the doorsteps of churches, synagogues, and mosques, religious communities will no longer be able to do what they do best.