Faith-based action and urban regeneration – Stephan de Beer

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After describing the challenges, myths, exclusions and opportunities of urban regeneration, this article explores the potential interface between faith-based action and different forms of urban regeneration. Focusing on different South African cities, it considers how faith-based action could participate in regenerative urban work. Faith-based action will refer to the varied responses of churches and faith-based organisations to urban challenges and transitions. It interrogates whether faith-based action only represents many similar approaches that address urban problems superficially without mediating long-term, systemic change, or whether it indeed contributes to urban transformation in the sense of radical inclusivity and socio-structural spatial justice. Finally, it considers socio-theological sources that could potentially ground urban faith-based action theologically – such as an urban spirituality, an understanding of regeneration as integral liberation and mobilising socio spiritual capital – whilst making a distinctive contribution to the processes of socially inclusive urban regeneration.

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