Religion, poverty, and abundance

Anna Sofia Salonen

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In contrast with most social theories, which are inclined to see the world and its problems as a matter of scarcity, this paper discusses poverty and religious organizations as actors in the field of poverty alleviation from the viewpoint of excess and abundance. The analysis draws from two essays that deal with the question of excess and excessiveness from the perspectives of social theory and moral philosophy, and applies their ideas in order to understand and reconsider the social practice of food assistance and the role of religious organizations as food assistance providers. This paper suggests that charitable food assistance is an excess rescaling strategy, which brings together food insecurity and food waste and thus makes food excess more desirable and less disturbing. Via the processes of rescaling and decriminalizing food excess, excess becomes a utility and a resource for helping people who suffer from poverty. Religious organizations, in turn, become middlemen in rescaling and decriminalizing excess and transforming it into a virtue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
JournalPalgrave Communications
Volume4
Number of pages5
ISSN2055-1045
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5145 Social work
  • 614 Theology
  • FOOD BANKS
  • HUNGER

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