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By Erica Bornstein

History : 3 views on missions in Zimbabwe -- Theologies of improvement : religion, holism, and way of life evangelism -- baby sponsorship, evangelism, and belonging -- The politics of transcendence -- Participation as a non secular act -- solid, evil, and the legitimation of luck

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Extra info for The spirit of development : Protestant NGOs, morality, and economics in Zimbabwe

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At Hear the Word, the key to understanding verse was believing. ” The pastor quoted the Bible: “John Chapter 5 verse 14: ‘Have confidence in God. ’ John 14:12: ‘Jesus is Lord’ (reciting the words printed in the red plastic banner hanging above the stage). ’” Faith, through Jesus, conjoined asking with receiving from God, the supreme giver. Giving from God was holy and supernatural, and Jesus was the bridge to the material world. As God in human form, he was close and benevolent, not distant and punishing.

Because the World Council of Churches grew out of the international missionary movement, it had to some extent been involved in “development” activities before the 1950s. However, the 1950s brought a new awareness of global inequalities and the WCC sought to address these problems with a Christian economic ethic of assistance. The WCC focused on technical assistance, like World Vision and many secular institutions of that time. The philosophical histories of Christian Care (via the World Council of Churches) and World Vision set the groundwork for their economic development work in Zimbabwe in the late 1990s.

It emphasized a personal commitment to Christ, and personal holiness rather than social programs (Marsden 1987b). The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American evangelical revivalism grew in the same atmosphere that produced American political and economic individualistic liberalism. The basic unit was the individual: “…it might be helpful to regard revivalism as in a sense the religious counterpart to democracy and free enterprise” (Marsden 1975:135). It was a 18 THE SPIRIT OF DEVELOPMENT religious ethos comprised of voluntary decisions, personal choice, and personal commitment to Jesus.

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