Religion and Community in the New Urban America examines the interrelated transformations of cities and urban congregations over the past several decades.
The authors ask how the new metropolis affects local religious communities, and what the role of those local religious communities is in creating the new metropolis.
Through an in-depth study of fifteen Chicago congregations-Catholic parishes, Protestant churches, Jewish synagogues, Muslim mosques, and aHindu temple, city and suburban, neighborhood-based and commuter-this book describes the lives of their members and measures the influences of those congregations on urban environments.
Paul D. Numrich and Elfriede Wedam challenge the view held by many urban studies scholars that religion plays a smallrole-if any-in shaping postindustrial cities and that religious communities merely adapt to urban structures in a passive fashion.
Taking into account the spatial distribution of constituents, internal traits, and external actions, each congregation's urban impact is plotted on a continuum of weak, to moderate, to strong, thus providing a nuanced understanding of the significance of religion in the contemporary urban context.
Providing a thoughtful analysis that includes several original mapsillustrating such things as membership distribution for each congregation, the authors offer an insightful look into urban community life today, from congregations to the social-geographic places in which they are embedded.