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Articles on Congregations

Oldline Protestantism: Pockets of Vitality Within a Continuing Stream of Decline
A working paper by David Roozen

What God Makes Free is Free Indeed: Nondenominational Church Identity and its Networks of Support
A paper presented by Scott Thumma at an annual meeting for the Religious Research Association.

The Political Frame
by Dave Roozen
You may use the link above to read the article in its entirety online or download this file.

Hues in the Pews
This Christian Century article by John Dart summarizes several surveys of multiracial congregations. It refers to studies featured on this site and raises pertinent questions about the dynamics and prevalence of multiracial churches in the United States.

Church Realities and Christian Identity in the 21st Century
by Robert Wuthnow
Wuthnow proposes several causes for the deteriorating vitality of Christian identity as it existed in the 20th century. He implores the church to take responsibility as an institution to instill ancestral tradition and therefore a strong sense of self in new generations. Wuthnow recognizes the elements of the Christian religion that have become subject to drastic change as we undergo the 21st century. He predicts that these changes will inevitably lead to the destruction of the Christian identity as we know it, unless the church takes the appropriate actions to preserve it.

The Many Mansions of God’s House: the Religious Built Environment as Assimilation and Differentiation
By James Hudnut-Beumler, Columbia Theological Seminary

On Deciphering a Potluck: the Social Meaning of Church Socials
by Daniel Sack, associate director of the Material History of American Religion Project 
This historical and anthropological study traces the development of church meals in the experience of one Protestant congregation. Sack explains how church meals reflect the shape and structure of society. These gatherings present models of and for the proper functioning of society, in terms of gender roles and relations, family structure, and the role of the church in the local community.

Congregation:  Stories and Structures
by James F. Hopewell

Local Religious Ecology
by Arthur E. Farnsley II, The Polis Center
An article that discusses urban ministries, focusing specifically on two urban neighborhoods.

The Clergy Job Market: What are the opportunities for ministry in the 21st century?
An article by Patricia Chang, Assistant Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life Associate Research Professor of Sociology, Boston College.  

Multiracial Congregations in America: Looking for “a more realistic picture of what the world looks like”
An article by Elfriede Wedam, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago 

"Several Nations Under God": Urban Space, Race, and Religion
A paper presented by Tyrone R. Simpson II, University of Virginia, at the 2002 Society for the Scientific Study of ReligionAnnual Conference.

Read the following research summaries for more information on congregations:




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