Among the more significant factors of social change are new technologies, new ideas, economic power, times of extreme crisis, empowering visions, persuasive skill, new forms of organization, and conditions of systemic collapse. But perhaps the most potentially powerful factors of social change are masses of oppressed and marginalized people with a deeply held determination to become the key factors of social change for the common good.
From within the mass of marginalized people there arises from time to time the “divine discontent” that becomes a vision for social change, the motivation to mobilize, energy for action, determination to persevere, and the steadfast commitment to pay the price for being one of the primary factors of social change. When such a body of people is driven by a vision for social justice they can overcome all other forms of power that resist social change and become the largest factors of social change.
The book Journeys into Justice describes religious collaboration as a form of organizing people power that brings marginalized people together with others to become one of the factors of social change. Ten case histories are presented that vividly portray the human dynamics of successful organization for social justice. The key factors of social change are people with a profound need for a more just set of social arrangements collaborating for major goals that serve the common good.
Religious collaboration becomes one of these powerful factors of social change when it is rooted in deeply held values, enables diverse groups with different viewpoints to find common ground, motivates the sharing of resources, promotes patient and careful planning, and builds strategic action with a long-range perspective. As one of the factors of social change, religious collaboration becomes especially powerful when it is embodied in an organization of people who have suffered the consequences of injustice and have discovered that they can become the change that they seek.
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