Forming Social Movements in Nonviolent Christian Social Action on Poverty: Engaging with Power and Justice through Relationships across Diversity and Scale

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 17:45
Oral Presentation
Andrew ORTON, Durham University, United Kingdom
This presentation will draw on research with those involved in forms of nonviolent Christian social action on poverty and debt to explore how their work links with that of others working on these issues. In particular, it will explore how participation in this work can lead to the development of wider social movements which involve:

(i) wider relationships with others who share concerns about these issues, in the form of various networks across local and wider scales.

(ii) developing understandings of what forms of action are needed, and how these might work together, to tackle these issues in holistic ways that take account of different dimensions of power within them.

This analysis draws together insights from the findings of two different research projects:

(i) One which explored Christian responses to debt in the North East of England and London through 35 participatory local discussions (involving around 580 people in total) and a national conference (involving 90 people) with those interested and/or taking action on this issue;

(ii) One which explored transnational ecumenical Christian networks of social action, primarily through interviews with key activists within these networks operating in one or more of the Brazilian, Argentinian and UK contexts.

Examples which explore key questions of how such action relates to the work of those within wider communities and civil society, as well as policy actors, and their different conceptions of justice, will be considered in the process.