Congregational Studies in the UK: Christianity in a Post-Christian Context

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Overview

This book presents the first comprehensive introduction to congregational studies in the UK. Through a series of innovative essays, it explores the difference that the increasingly post-Christian nature of British society is making to life in Christian congregations, and compares this to the very different scenario which exists in the USA.

Contributions from leading scholars in the field include rich case studies of local communities and theoretical analyses which reflect on issues of method and develop broader understandings. Congregational studies is revealed as a rich and growing field of interest to scholars across many disciplines and to those involved in congregational life.

Contents: Introduction; The Emerging Field: Congregational studies: taking stock, Linda Woodhead, Mathew Guest and Karin Tusting; The rise of congregational studies in the US, Arthur Farnsley; 'Conference people': congregational studies in a globalizing world, Simon Coleman. Congregations in the UK: The effects of evangelical renewal on congregational identities: a Welsh case study, Paul Chambers; "Friendship, fellowship and acceptance": the public discourse of a thriving evangelical congregation, Mathew Guest; Display and division: congregational conflict among Roman Catholics, Peter McGrail; Congregations, narratives and identity: a Quaker case study, Peter Collins; Congregational cultures and the boundaries of identity, Timothy Jenkins. Theoretical and Methodological Issues: The messiness of studying congregations using ethnographic methods, Frances Ward; What contribution can organizational studies make to congregational studies?, Helen Cameron; Priests, parish and people: reconceiving a relationship, Douglas Davies; Denominational cultures: The Cinderella of congregational studies?, Philip Richter; Gender in congregational studies: negotiating with culture, Kristin Aune; Putting congregational studies to work: ethnography, consultancy and change, Martin Stringer; Index.

Author Biography: Mathew Guest, Senior Research Associate, University of Durham, UK. Karin Tusting, Research Associate, Lancaster University, UK and Linda Woodhead, Senior Lecturer, Lancaster University, UK

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Table of Contents

1 Congregational studies : taking stock 1
2 The rise of congregational studies in the USA 25
3 'Conference people' : congregational studies in a globalizing world 39
4 The effects of evangelical renewal on mainstream congregational identities : a Welsh case study 57
5 'Friendship, fellowship and acceptance' : the public discourse of a thriving evangelical congregation 71
6 Display and division : congregational conflict among Roman Catholics 85
7 Congregations, narratives and identity : a Quaker case study 99
8 Congregational cultures and the boundaries of identity 113
9 The messiness of studying congregations using ethnographic methods 125
10 Are congregations associations? : the contribution of organizational studies to congregational studies 139
11 Priests, parish and people : reconceiving a relationship 153
12 Denominational cultures : the Cinderella of congregational studies? 169
13 The significance of gender for congregational studies 185
14 Putting congregational studies to work : ethnography, consultancy and change 203
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