Religion and Community in the New Urban America

ISBN : 9780199386857

Paul David Numrich; Elfriede Wedam
368 ページ
156 x 234 mm

Religion and Community in the New Urban America examines the interrelated transformations of cities and urban congregations over the past several decades. The authors ask how the new metropolis affects local religious communities, and what the role of those local religious communities is in creating the new metropolis. Through an in-depth study of fifteen Chicago congregations-Catholic parishes, Protestant churches, Jewish synagogues, Muslim mosques, and a Hindu temple, city and suburban, neighborhood-based and commuter-this book describes the lives of their members and measures the influences of those congregations on urban environments. Paul D. Numrich and Elfriede Wedam challenge the view held by many urban studies scholars that religion plays a small role-if any-in shaping postindustrial cities and that religious communities merely adapt to urban structures in a passive fashion. Taking into account the spatial distribution of constituents, internal traits, and external actions, each congregation's urban impact is plotted on a continuum of weak, to moderate, to strong, thus providing a nuanced understanding of the significance of religion in the contemporary urban context. Providing a thoughtful analysis that includes several original maps illustrating such things as membership distribution for each congregation, the authors offer an insightful look into urban community life today, from congregations to the social-geographic places in which they are embedded.


Foreword by Martin D. Stringer
Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction: The New Urban Era and the Religion Factor
Part I: Theoretical and Conceptual Framework
Chapter 1: Adding Religion to Chicago's Story
Chapter 2: Community and Congregations in the New Metropolis
Part II: Congregational Case Studies
Chapter 3: Neighborhood Parishes and Churches in a Restructuring City
Chapter 4: Area Mosques and Diverse Corridors
Chapter 5: Area Congregations in the City
Chapter 6: Area Congregations in a Suburban Boom Town
Chapter 7: Metro Congregations: A Wider View of the Restructuring Metropolis
Part III: Religion's Urban Significance: Chicago and Beyond
Chapter 8: Congregations and Change: Interpreting Religion's Significance in the New Metropolis
Afterword: A Case for Representativeness
Appendix A: Research Methods
Appendix B: Questionnaire
Appendix C: Field Notes on Worship Services
Appendix D: Protocol for In-Depth Study of Religious Congregations


Paul D. Numrich is a professor at Methodist Theological School in Ohio and Trinity Lutheran Seminary and an affiliate research associate professor at Loyola University Chicago. He researches the social, civic, and theological implications of America's increasing religious diversity.; Elfriede Wedam teaches sociology of religion and urban and community sociology at Loyola University Chicago. She has also written on the moral culture of the prolife movement and Catholic parishes in an international context.