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(PUBCambridge University)"A very helpful and well-argued study which identifies four different congregational frames or models---house of worship, family, community, and leader. Based on detailed interviews of 23 American churches, it pioneers a new way of studying congregations in detail,"---Theology. 267 pages, softcover.
Congregations in Conflict uses the suburbs of Chicago to examine the nature of American congregations as institutions, looking in particular at how they deal with conflict within their ranks, to gain insight into religious culture. In detailed and well documented case studies of conflict in twenty-three congregations including Protestant parishes, Catholic parishes, and Jewish synagogues, Becker examines such factors as organizational processes, the extent and types of ties among church members, their shared understandings about mission and identity, and their level of public commitment. At the local level Becker finds vital "public religion": congregations that provide caring and support for members, service to the local community, and important arenas for moral debate and public activism.