“What’s faith got to do with it?” In this paper we explore the multilayered role of faith in two food banks in Toronto. We are drawing on a larger study of five partnerships between faithbased organizations and others for the common good, a study that unpacks the interesting dynamics of collaborations involving at least one faith partner. In the selection we have made for our present paper, the reader can expect to find a description and analysis of those dynamics as they pertain to individuals, groups, religious and secular organizations, new immigrants and long time residents, a rich variety of faith groups—all around the issues of having enough to eat, human dignity and the formation of community.
When we use the word “faith” we are aware of the multiplicity of meanings carried by the term. There is a basic distinction, famously formulated by Wilfred Cantwell Smith, between the faith that animates and is held by an individual and ‘a faith’ in the sense of a world religion, which has a history, traditions, sacred texts, liturgy, normative practices, teachings, creeds, buildings, authorized leaders— in short all the characteristics of a religion established over many centuries. Of course, there is a symbiotic relationship between the personal and the institutional. Each enlarges and enriches the other; neither can exist without the other.
Keywords: CVSS, Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies, Working Paper Series,TRSM, Ted Rogers School of Management
MacLean, P., Meinhard, A. & Bridgemohan, A. (2011). What's faith got to do with it? (Working Paper Series Volume 2011 (2)) Toronto: Ted Rogers School of Management, Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies, Ryerson University.