Identify an organized charity (I have chosen Bread For City, https://breadforthecity.org). Below are questions to kick start research and while your research should address them, they are not limited to these questions. These are intended to get you launched but I want to encourage your own instincts in crafting the essays. While I encourage creativity, you are required to write about the connections between what you have learned about the organization and course readings:
* What is the name of the organization and what (if any) message about the organization is disclosed by its name?
* What kind of organization is it? Where is it and where does it do its work and what kind of place is that?
* What are its goals/mission statement?
* What is the founding history of the organization, including who was the founder and backstory about them (i.e., what led them to create organization and define its focus/work?)
* What does it do as its primary activity (i.e., what is “the work” of the organization?) How do its actions/programs relate to its mission statement? What is your assessment of the connection between mission statement and the work of the organization?
* Does the charity provide materials benefits (like basic needs supports of food, housing, etc.) (and if so, what sorts) and/or moral uplift/counseling (and if so, what sorts)—or possibly some combination of the two?
* Is this a membership organization? Who are the members and what is the basis of membership? Where do they meet, do their work, etc.? When and how did they become organized?
* Is the organization based on patron-client relationships? Who are “the patrons” and “the clients” and how are they recruited/selected?
* How would you characterize the relationship between the charity and their social justice focus? Are they providing emergency assistance (e.g., after a natural disaster)? Seeking long-term structural changes?
* Based on what you can learn about the organization, how does it conceptualize the people they are hoping to help? Victims? Clients? Partners? Co-community members?
* How did you find out about the organization and its work? What kind of media/online presence does it have either directly or through connections with other organizations and/or media outlets?
* How does the organization work in coalition with others? Find specific examples of when and how. Are there turf issues between it and other organizations working in the same area (geographically or topically defined)?
* What can you discern about the internal processes of the organization? Does it seem to operate according to democratic principles; is there one strong leader, perhaps a charismatic founder? Is there a large or small staff?
* How do the readings of the two weeks of the course about charity help you understand the charity organization that is the focus of your essay?
* How does the organization define charity (explicitly or implicitly)?
* Make specific connections with key concepts and arguments in the readings, for example about Wagner’s conception of “repressive benevolence”; Poppendieck’s arguments about charity and dignity and charity’s “moral bargain”; and Peck and Tickell’s notions of roll back and roll out neoliberalism.

 

Sample solution

Dante Alighieri played a critical role in the literature world through his poem Divine Comedy that was written in the 14th century. The poem contains Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The Inferno is a description of the nine circles of torment that are found on the earth. It depicts the realms of the people that have gone against the spiritual values and who, instead, have chosen bestial appetite, violence, or fraud and malice. The nine circles of hell are limbo, lust, gluttony, greed and wrath. Others are heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Dante’s Inferno in the perspective of its portrayal of God’s image and the justification of hell. 

In this epic poem, God is portrayed as a super being guilty of multiple weaknesses including being egotistic, unjust, and hypocritical. Dante, in this poem, depicts God as being more human than divine by challenging God’s omnipotence. Additionally, the manner in which Dante describes Hell is in full contradiction to the morals of God as written in the Bible. When god arranges Hell to flatter Himself, He commits egotism, a sin that is common among human beings (Cheney, 2016). The weakness is depicted in Limbo and on the Gate of Hell where, for instance, God sends those who do not worship Him to Hell. This implies that failure to worship Him is a sin.

God is also depicted as lacking justice in His actions thus removing the godly image. The injustice is portrayed by the manner in which the sodomites and opportunists are treated. The opportunists are subjected to banner chasing in their lives after death followed by being stung by insects and maggots. They are known to having done neither good nor bad during their lifetimes and, therefore, justice could have demanded that they be granted a neutral punishment having lived a neutral life. The sodomites are also punished unfairly by God when Brunetto Lattini is condemned to hell despite being a good leader (Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). While he commited sodomy, God chooses to ignore all the other good deeds that Brunetto did.

Finally, God is also portrayed as being hypocritical in His actions, a sin that further diminishes His godliness and makes Him more human. A case in point is when God condemns the sin of egotism and goes ahead to commit it repeatedly. Proverbs 29:23 states that “arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected.” When Slattery condemns Dante’s human state as being weak, doubtful, and limited, he is proving God’s hypocrisy because He is also human (Verdicchio, 2015). The actions of God in Hell as portrayed by Dante are inconsistent with the Biblical literature. Both Dante and God are prone to making mistakes, something common among human beings thus making God more human.

To wrap it up, Dante portrays God is more human since He commits the same sins that humans commit: egotism, hypocrisy, and injustice. Hell is justified as being a destination for victims of the mistakes committed by God. The Hell is presented as being a totally different place as compared to what is written about it in the Bible. As a result, reading through the text gives an image of God who is prone to the very mistakes common to humans thus ripping Him off His lofty status of divine and, instead, making Him a mere human. Whether or not Dante did it intentionally is subject to debate but one thing is clear in the poem: the misconstrued notion of God is revealed to future generations.

 

References

Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). Dante’s inferno: Seven deadly sins in scientific publishing and how to avoid them. Addiction Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, 267.

Cheney, L. D. G. (2016). Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno: A Comparative Study of Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Stradano, and Federico Zuccaro. Cultural and Religious Studies4(8), 487.

Verdicchio, M. (2015). Irony and Desire in Dante’s” Inferno” 27. Italica, 285-297.