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The Practicalities of Change: Racial Integration in a South African Church By Marthe Hesselmans

In South Africa churches may be among the last bastions of apartheid, but some churchgoers are crossing racial lines, for the sake of survival.   Philippolis is a small farm town far away from everything. Far from the city and the government, far from justice and equality. The...
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Social Engagement and the London Megachurch

The Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK has funded a three-year study of London’s megachurches and their social engagement activities, to be complete at the end of 2016. Using the definition of a megachurch developed at Hartford Seminary Institute for Religion Research...
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When Congregation-Based Activism Is…Complicated

Though most conservative Christian organizations, denominations, and congregations have abandoned explicitly homophobic rhetoric in their arguments against gay rights in their effort to craft a politically viable position, others have increased the volume (and, through social...
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The Reality Behind “Spiritual But Not Religious”

Question: I hear a lot about people being “spiritual, but not religious.” What does that mean? “I’m spiritual, but I’m not religious” is a common refrain in contemporary conversations.  Many people seem eager to claim a connection with...
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Making a Megachurch: Hebron Baptist Church

Below is an extended quote from A Particular Place: Urban Restructuring and Religious Ecology in a Southern Exurb. The book outlines how two particular congregations grew in an area outside Atlanta. Notice how the author, Dr. Nancy Eiesland, describes the changes in the local...
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Lower Denominational Control: Effects of Changing Church Forms

Mark Chaves’ 2011 book, American Religion: Contemporary Trends, outlines a number of ways in which denominations have less and less control over individual congregations: 1 in 5 religious congregations in the United States are now unaffiliated (Chaves 2011). Moreover, 1 in...
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Growing Churches: Religious Vitality in Canada

A recent National Post article examines Protestant mega-congregations in Canada. Broadway Church, in Vancouver Canada, shuffles 2,000 congregants through churches on a given Sunday. The large, auditorium-esq sanctuary, modern music, and casually-dressed pastor give attenders the...
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The Power and Superiority of “Black Worship”

In Gerardo Marti’s book, Worship Across the Racial Divide, he discusses the life and vitality of a multiethnic congregation. One of his early findings is that many members of the congregation, particularly those who are not Black, assume that “black worship” is...
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