A Place for the Christian

Robert Wuthnow

in Christianity in the Twenty-First Century

Published in print June 1995 | ISBN: 9780195096514
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853380 | DOI:
A Place for the Christian

Show Summary Details


At the beginning of the 20th century, religious leaders in the United States confidently declared the coming period a “Christian century.” Then at the end of that century, despite the continuing role of the church, it would seem more appropriate to ask whether this next one holds a place for the Christian at all. Is it likely, or possible, for people to call themselves Christians? We have to be mindful that spirituality is frequently distinguished from religiosity and that religious commitment is often described in generic, rather than confessional, terms. Some observers lament the development of invisible religion and religionless Christianity. Others, however, regard it as parochial to be concerned with labels. What matters, they argue, is the depth of people's faith, not whether they adopt one label or another. An initial task, therefore, must be to indicate why the identity “Christian” may be important. This chapter discusses the church as a community of memory, as a denomination, and as a support group.

Keywords: Christians; Christianity; church; spirituality; religion; faith; identity; community of memory; denomination; support group

Chapter.  6071 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.