Congregations in Conflict: Cultural Models of Local by Penny Edgell Becker

By Penny Edgell Becker

Congregations in clash makes use of the suburbs of Chicago to check the character of yank congregations as associations, taking a look particularly at how they care for clash inside of their ranks, to realize perception into spiritual tradition. In special and good documented case reviews of clash in twenty-three congregations together with Protestant parishes, Catholic parishes, and Jewish synagogues, Becker examines such components as organizational tactics, the level and kinds of ties between church individuals, their shared understandings approximately venture and id, and their point of public dedication. on the neighborhood point Becker reveals important "public religion": congregations that offer being concerned and aid for participants, carrier to the area people, and critical arenas for ethical debate and public activism.

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There are three huge Protestant churches on the main street and several others just like them a block or so off the main street. There are also a few large Catholic churches scattered around the community; one, on the northern edge of the village, has a campus that takes up a city block, including a small convent, a rectory, and a school. The two synagogues, across from one another on a major cross-street, also have big buildings with classroom wings. But there are many small neighborhood congregations with on-street parking and immaculate tiny lawns, and there are some congregations, including small evangelical groups and some black congregations from the West Side, that rent space in the Presbyterian, Congregational, and Methodist churches until they can afford their own.

Moreover, these dimensions do not adequately explain the other kinds of findings that emerged through the fieldwork. Specifically, they do not explain very much about conflict processes and outcomes. In some congregations similar issues are framed, understood, and argued about very differently; the pastor plays a different role in different kinds of congregations; and some congregations favor compromise more than others. These three dimensions also do not provide an adequate explanation for the four congregations undergoing a more severe, uncontainable form of conflict.

United Church of Christ. 18. This body of work consists of a wealth of case studies and a few more general, synthesizing or theoretical accounts. See, for example, Blau (1976), Swatos (1981), Caplow et al. (1983), Greenhouse (1986), Ammerman (1987), Furman (1987), Gremillion and Castelli (1987), Hopewell (1987), Neitz (1987), Wertheimer (1987), Warner (1988, 1994), Hammond (1988), Olson (1989), Prell (1989), Seidler and Meyer (1989), and Wind and Lewis (1994). These studies mostly emphasize the local, the particular, and the idiosyncratic.

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