By Mark Chaves
extra american citizens belong to non secular congregations than to the other form of voluntary organization. What those huge numbers volume to--what everyone is doing within the over 300,000 church buildings, synagogues, mosques, and temples within the United States--is a query that resonates via each area of yank society, rather in those occasions of "faith-based initiatives," "moral majorities," and militant fundamentalism. And it's a query spoke back intensive and intimately in Congregations in America.
Drawing at the 1998 nationwide Congregations Study--the first systematic examine of its kind--as good as a large diversity of quantitative, qualitative, and old proof, this ebook presents a finished evaluate of the main major kind of collective non secular expression in American society: neighborhood congregations. between its extra awesome findings, Congregations in America finds that, regardless of the media specialise in the political and social actions of spiritual teams, the humanities are literally way more primary to the workings of congregations. right here we see how, faraway from emphasizing the pursuit of charity or justice via social prone or politics, congregations ordinarily site visitors in ritual, wisdom, and sweetness in the course of the cultural actions of worship, non secular schooling, and the humanities.
in addition to clarifying--and debunking--arguments on either side of the talk over faith-based projects, the knowledge awarded the following includes a different and priceless source, answering formerly unanswerable questions about the scale, nature, makeup, funds, actions, and proclivities of those organisations on the very middle of yank lifestyles.
Table of Contents:
1. What Do Congregations Do?
2. participants, cash, and Leaders
three. Social Services
four. Civic Engagement and Politics
6. The Arts
7. tradition in Congregations, Congregations in Culture
eight. past Congregations
Appendix A: nationwide Congregations examine Methodology
Appendix B: chosen precis records from the nationwide Congregations Study
Reviews of this ebook:
An unchurched observer could finish that American congregational lifestyles facilities on political or social provider activities...[But] utilizing his pioneering 1998 nationwide Congregations Survey, the 1st examine to delve into the categorical actions of a very consultant sampling of the nation's spiritual congregations, [Chaves] reveals that politics and repair courses will not be the most attracts. certainly, such a lot congregations placed little attempt into neighborhood work...What congregations are such a lot engaged in, Chaves finds, are cultural actions. that incorporates schooling and the various elements of worship, in fact, but additionally the widely less-remarked-upon actions of manufacturing and eating artwork and tradition, really musical and theatrical performances, outdoors of worship.
--Jay Tolson, U.S. information and global Report
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CONGREGATIONS IN AMERICA by Mark Chaves