Congregations in Conflict: Cultural Models of Local Religious Life

Synopsis

Congregations in Conflict uses the suburbs of Chicago to examine the nature of American congregations as institutions, looking in particular at how they deal with conflict within their ranks, to gain insight into religious culture. In detailed and well documented case studies of conflict in twenty-three congregations including Protestant parishes, Catholic parishes, and Jewish synagogues, Becker examines such factors as organizational processes, the extent and types of ties among church members, their shared understandings about mission and identity, and their level of public commitment. At the local level Becker finds vital "public religion": congregations that provide caring and support for members, service to the local community, and important arenas for moral debate and public activism.

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