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Author Chaves, Mark.

Title Congregations in America / Mark Chaves
Published Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2004
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Description 1 online resource (xi, 291 pages) : illustrations
Contents ""Contents""; ""Acknowledgments""; ""1. What Do Congregations Do? ""; ""2. Members, Money, and Leaders""; ""3. Social Services""; ""4. Civic Engagement and Politics""; ""5. Worship""; ""6. The Arts""; ""7. Culture in Congregations, Congregations in Culture""; ""8. Beyond Congregations""; ""Appendix A: National Congregations Study Methodology""; ""Appendix B: Selected Summary Statistics from the National Congregations Study""; ""Notes""; ""References""; ""Index""
Summary Publisher's description: More Americans belong to religious congregations than to any other kind of voluntary association. What these vast numbers amount to--what people are doing in the over 300,000 churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples in the United States--is a question that resonates through every quarter of American society, particularly in these times of "faith-based initiatives," "moral majorities," and militant fundamentalism. And it is a question answered in depth and in detail in Congregations in America. Drawing on the 1998 National Congregations Study--the first systematic study of its kind--as well as a broad range of quantitative, qualitative, and historical evidence, this book provides a comprehensive overview of the most significant form of collective religious expression in American society: local congregations. Among its more surprising findings, Congregations in America reveals that, despite the media focus on the political and social activities of religious groups, the arts are actually far more central to the workings of congregations. Here we see how, far from emphasizing the pursuit of charity or justice through social services or politics, congregations mainly traffic in ritual, knowledge, and beauty through the cultural activities of worship, religious education, and the arts. Along with clarifying--and debunking--arguments on both sides of the debate over faith-based initiatives, the information presented here comprises a unique and invaluable resource, answering previously unanswerable questions about the size, nature, make-up, finances, activities, and proclivities of these organizations at the very center of American life
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 263-287) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Religious institutions -- United States.
United States -- Religion -- 20th century.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0674012844
0674029445 (electronic bk.)
9780674029446 (electronic bk.)
(alk. paper)