The Megachurch And The Mainline

Author: Stephen Ellingson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226204928
Size: 18.53 MB
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Religious traditions provide the stories and rituals that define the core values of church members. Yet modern life in America can make those customs seem undesirable, even impractical. As a result, many congregations refashion church traditions so they may remain powerful and salient. How do these transformations occur? How do clergy and worshipers negotiate which aspects should be preserved or discarded? Focusing on the innovations of several mainline Protestant churches in the San Francisco Bay Area, Stephen Ellingson’s The Megachurch and the Mainline provides new understandings of the transformation of spiritual traditions. For Ellingson, these particular congregations typify a new type of Lutheranism—one which combines the evangelical approaches that are embodied in the growing legion of megachurches with American society’s emphasis on pragmatism and consumerism. Here Ellingson provides vivid descriptions of congregations as they sacrifice hymns in favor of rock music and scrap traditional white robes and stoles for Hawaiian shirts, while also making readers aware of the long history of similar attempts to Americanize the Lutheran tradition. This is an important examination of a religion in flux—one that speaks to the growing popularity of evangelicalism in America.

Sensational Devotion

Author: Jill Stevenson
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 0472118730
Size: 63.47 MB
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How evangelical theme parks, museums, and other performance sites both reflect and create religious belief

The Future Of Mainline Protestantism In America

Author: James Hudnut-Beumler
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231545037
Size: 78.98 MB
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As recently as the 1960s, more than half of all American adults belonged to just a handful of mainline Protestant denominations—Presbyterian, UCC, Disciples of Christ, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, and American Baptist. Presidents, congressmen, judges, business leaders, and other members of the elite overwhelmingly came from such backgrounds. But by 2010, fewer than 13 percent of adults belonged to a mainline Protestant church. What does the twenty-first century hold for this once-hegemonic religious group? In this volume, experts in American religious history and the sociology of religion examine the extraordinary decline of mainline Protestantism over the past half century and assess its future. Contributors discuss the demographics of mainline Protestants; their beliefs, practices, and modes of worship; their political views and partisan affiliations; and the social and moral questions that unite and divide Protestant communities. Other chapters examine Protestant institutions, including providers of health care and education; analyze churches’ public voice; and probe what will come from a diminished role relative to other groups in society, especially the ascendant evangelicals. Far from going extinct, the book argues, the mainline Protestant movement will continue to be a vital remnant in an American religious culture torn between the contending forces of secularism and evangelicalism.

Sacred Subdivisions

Author: Justin G. Wilford
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814770932
Size: 70.70 MB
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In an era where church attendance has reached an all-time low, recent polling has shown that Americans are becoming less formally religious and more promiscuous in their religious commitments. Within both mainline and evangelical Christianity in America, it is common to hear of secularizing pressures and increasing competition from nonreligious sources. Yet there is a kind of religious institution that has enjoyed great popularity over the past thirty years: the evangelical megachurch. Evangelical megachurches not only continue to grow in number, but also in cultural, political, and economic influence. To appreciate their appeal is to understand not only how they are innovating, but more crucially, where their innovation is taking place. In this groundbreaking and interdisciplinary study, Justin G. Wilford argues that the success of the megachurch is hinged upon its use of space: its location on the post-suburban fringe of large cities, its fragmented, dispersed structure, and its focus on individualized spaces of intimacy such as small group meetings in homes, which help to interpret suburban life as religiously meaningful and create a sense of belonging. Based on original fieldwork at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, one of the largest and most influential megachurches in America,Sacred Subdivisionsexplains how evangelical megachurches thrive by transforming mundane secular spaces into arenas of religious significance.

The Commercial Church

Author: Mary Hinton
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 0739137743
Size: 16.10 MB
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This book provides an accessible exploration of religious education and theology in the historic black church. The book then looks at two mega churches to determine their ecclesial structure and whether they are continuing the legacy and what the implications of their breach is for the US religious landscape.

Evangelicals Worship And Participation

Author: Alan Rathe
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317138546
Size: 51.49 MB
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In discussions of worship, the term ’participation’ covers a lot of ground. It refers not only to concrete acts in gathered liturgy, but also to some of the loftiest claims of Christian theology. In this book, Alan Rathe probes the ways in which North American evangelicals have in recent years regarded the landscape of participation. Rathe presents a broad review of evangelical worship literature through a lens borrowed from medieval theology. This brings into surprising focus not only evangelical understandings but also evangelical identities and the historical traditions they reflect, and offers fresh perspectives on such current theological concerns as God’s triunity, missio Dei, and the practical theology of participation. Offering a fresh contribution to a young but important discipline, the liturgically-informed study of evangelical worship practice, this book reconnects the evangelical tradition to the ’Great Tradition’ and in the process re-appropriates classic concepts that are full of promise for contemporary ecumenical dialogue.

Inspiration And Innovation

Author: Todd M. Kerstetter
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118848322
Size: 75.47 MB
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Covering more than 200 years of history from pre-contact to the present, this textbook places religion at the center of the history of the American West, examining the relationship between religion and the region and their influence on one another. A comprehensive examination of the relationship between religion and the American West and their influence on each other over the course of more than 200 years Discusses diverse groups of people, places, and events that played an important historical role, from organized religion and easily recognized denominations to unorganized religion and cults Provides straightforward explanations of key religious and theological terms and concepts Weaves discussion of American Indian religion throughout the text and presents it in dialogue with other groups Enriches our understanding of American history by examining key factors outside of traditional political, economic, social, and cultural domains

Religion And The Marketplace In The United States

Author: Jan Stievermann
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190266570
Size: 13.75 MB
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Alexis de Tocqueville once described the national character of Americans as one question insistently asked: "How much money will it bring in?" G.K. Chesterton, a century later, described America as a "nation with a soul of a church." At first glance, the two observations might appear to be diametrically opposed, but this volume shows the ways in which American religion and American business overlap and interact with one another, defining the US in terms of religion, and religion in terms of economics. Bringing together original contributions by leading experts and rising scholars from both America and Europe, the volume pushes this field of study forward by examining the ways religions and markets in relationship can provide powerful insights and open unseen aspects into both. In essays ranging from colonial American mercantilism to modern megachurches, from literary markets to popular festivals, the authors explore how religious behavior is shaped by commerce, and how commercial practices are informed by religion. By focusing on what historians often use off-handedly as a metaphor or analogy, the volume offers new insights into three varieties of relationships: religion and the marketplace, religion in the marketplace, and religion as the marketplace. Using these categories, the contributors test the assumptions scholars have come to hold, and offer deeper insights into religion and the marketplace in America.

Black Megachurch Culture

Author: Sandra L. Barnes
Publisher: Peter Lang Pub Inc
ISBN: 9781433109089
Size: 31.17 MB
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This book identifies how church cultural components are created, developed, and used to educate and empower adherents, and whether and how these tools are associated with the historic Black Church. The book is particularly interested in how large Black congregations, megachurches, use rituals found in worship, theology, racial beliefs, programmatic efforts, and other tools from their cultural repertoire to instruct congregants to model success in word and deed. The book's findings illustrate that Black megachurches strive to model success on various fronts by tapping into effective historic Black Church tools and creating cultural kits that foster excitement, expectation, and entitlement.