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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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Rituals as an Indicator of Congregational Culture

One important way to examine your religious community’s culture is through its rituals. Rituals say something about who we are and what we hold dear, pointing to deeper meanings. In religious communities, these religious rituals outline how a deity is worshiped. Examine how...
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Church Shouldn’t Be This Hard

Tom Ehrich wrote a commentary at the Washington Post outlining why “church shouldn’t be this hard.” He explains, My conclusion: Religion shouldn’t be this hard. An assembly that exists to help people shouldn’t be so willing to hurt people — by declaring them...
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New Sub-type of Catholicism: Charismatic Catholics

National Public Radio’s Code Switch examined the role of Charismatic Catholicism in Latino communities. A number of differences are obvious to attenders of Saint Anthony of Padua Church in the Bronx — the service is led by a woman, people are swaying and putting up...
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Whitebread Protestants – Social Food to Create Community

Chapter 2 of Whitebread Protestants: Food and Religion in American Culture by Daniel Sack focuses on food as a central mode of community organizing within America’s churches. He argues that “Americans go to church for more than teaching and prayer. They go looking for...
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