Bread, Bricks, and Belief: Communities in Charge of Their Future (Kumarian Press Books for a World That Works)

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9781565490468: Bread, Bricks, and Belief: Communities in Charge of Their Future (Kumarian Press Books for a World That Works)
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Mary Lean shows how ethics and spirituality have made a significant impact on community development in post-industrial cities and in the villages of developing countries.

Readers enter poor cities and villages to meet Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh leaders who, with their driving spirit, seed the community with their energy and vision. Readers see how these efforts take root, steadily changing the cultural and economic life of these once-despondent and declining communities.

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From Publishers Weekly:

These tales of troubled communities managing to set themselves right are inspirational, but they lack both analytical depth and the practical advice to serve as a guide for activists. Lean, co-editor of the magazine For a Change and a part of a group called Moral Re-Armament (which "encourages people to examine their own lives and to seek inspiration from God as a first step in addressing the problems they see around them") often simplifies things so that change seems sudden and miraculous. Left out is the hard, complicated work of great transformation. Instead, Lean points to religion as a key factor. Each chapter discusses a different case: in the Indian village of Ralegan Siddhi, the cycle of drought and hunger ended because of the work of one charismatic leader who had experienced a spiritual awakening; in Walkerswood, Jamaica, the descendants of landowners formed the Pioneer Club, which acquired a plot and established a cooperative farm to be inhabited only by married people; in Rio de Janeiro, notoriously crooked taxi drivers were reformed when they started cooperatives; in New Zealand, the Maori people took steps to preserve their disappearing language. Racial and sexual politics are disturbingly reduced to a superficial gloss. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

"A powerful illustration of the interconnectedness between ethics and environment."

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