Clergy Morale: The Ups and Downs

Article by Susan Harrington DeVogel

Ministry is a people-intensive profession. But ironically, a large number of professional ministers appear to be rather lonely people. A recent study of morale among United Methodist ministers in Minnesota indicates that while almost all enjoy their work and feel satisfied with their professional performance, they are also afflicted with self-doubts and loneliness. Experiencing the …

Communities that Change, Congregations that Adapt

Article by Richard H. Bliese

Church growth studies, Nancy Ammerman notes, have often followed "success stories" that correlate with key demographic changes. In this respect, church growth is almost predictable. "Where there is a pool of white, middle-class, home-owning families-with-children on which to draw, mainline churches are likely to grow, no matter what their theological orientation." Ammerman prefers, however, to …

Debunking Some Pentecostal Stereotypes

Article by John Dart

Pentecostalism and related “Spirit-filled movements” are rightly seen as a hard-driving engine fueling the global spread of Christianity, but their adherents are often wrongly seen as apolitical, otherworldly enthusiasts bent on “speaking in tongues,” according to two separate studies on the century-old phenomena. A groundbreaking survey of such believers in 10 countries, including the United …

Did You Really Go To Church This Week? Behind the Poll Data

Article by C. Kirk Hadaway and P.L. Marler

Church attendance in the U.S. is, apparently, stable and strong. Year after year 40 percent of Americans tell pollsters that they attended church or synagogue in the last seven days. From this evidence, American religion seems quite hardy, especially compared to the statistics from European nations. If the poll data can be believed, three decades …

Epistemological Modesty: An Interview with Peter Berger

Article by Peter Berger

What does it mean to study “economic culture”? Our institute’s agenda is relatively simple. We study the relationship between social-economic change and culture. By culture we mean beliefs, values and lifestyles. We cover a broad range of issues, and we work very internationally. I’m fanatical about very few things, but one of them is the …

Essays in the History of Religions

Book by Joachim Wach

(ENTIRE BOOK) This book is a collection of essays by Joachim Wach representing each major phase of his scholarly career. Wach emphasizes that both historical and systematic dimensions are necessary to its task, and he argues that the discipline’s goal is "understanding."

Faith, Hope and Bigotry

Article by Milton Rokeach

All Organized religions assume that religion teaches man distinct values that he might not otherwise have—moral values that guide him, in his everyday relations with his fellow man, toward higher, nobler or more humane levels than he might reached without religion. But is it true? Do the religious have distinct moral values that set them …