Chapter

Church and Culture

Robert Wuthnow

in Christianity in the Twenty-First Century

Published in print June 1995 | ISBN: 9780195096514
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853380 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195096514.003.0002
Church and Culture

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In the early years of the 20th century, a prominent French scholar penned the concluding lines to a book he had worked on for nearly fifteen years and sent the manuscript off to be published. That same year, a small group of German immigrants laid the final brick in a large two-story structure that rose magnificently against the prairie sky of a lonely Kansas town. Different as they were, both efforts sprang from a common source. The French scholar was Emile Durkheim, one of the founders of modern sociology; his book, The Elementary Forms of the Re1igious Life. The German immigrants were a community of farmers, and their new brick structure was a Baptist church. In both, a central question was at issue: the church and its changing cultural location. As we contemplate the church today and try to think about its location in the culture of tomorrow, there is much to be learned from these distant events. This chapter examines congregation and culture, the importance of geography, the challenge of diversity, and the future of the church.

Keywords: Emile Durkheim; Kansas; Baptist church; church; culture; future; diversity; geography; community; farmers

Chapter.  5740 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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