Bridging Divided Worlds: Generational Cultures in Congregations

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9780787949907: Bridging Divided Worlds: Generational Cultures in Congregations

Bridging Divided Worlds by Jackson W. Carroll and Wade Clark Roof-- two experts in the field of contemporary religion-- presents a comprehensive study of generational dynamics within congregations. Their groundbreaking work analyzes the crucial role the generations play in reshaping the American religious landscape. Throughout the book the authors examine current religious and spiritual trends and reveal how these changes can offer opportunities for enriching a congregation's faith and spiritual life.

Bridging Divided Worlds offers an insightful analysis of how congregations have historically adapted to change and reveals how various contemporary groups of congregants have dealt with change in recent years. For example, the authors profile three types of congregations: inherited congregations (practices are guided by the past); blended congregations (practices honor inherited tradition and are attentive to generational diversity); and generation-specific congregations (practices are tailored to the needs of a particular generation). With these profiles the authors provide commentary on the strengths and weaknesses of each. In addition to its wealth of information and commentary, this indispensable resource shows how congregations are discovering ways to bridge the gaps and connect the different worlds the generations inhabit to create stronger, richer, and more vibrant religious communities.

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From the Publisher:

"Ecumenically sensitive . . . here is a study that all pastoral ministers need on their reading list today. . . . By looking closely at significant historical events, sociological data, and anecdotes, the authors help us understand how we have come to the present generational diversity that is affecting our congregations today."
— Rev. Robert J. Silva, president, National Federation of Priests' Councils

"This is the first book to address the important intersection between congregational structure and generational conflict. Jackson W. Carroll and Wade Clark Roof provide insights that should guide the strategic planning of every church, temple, and synagogue in America."
— Donald E. Miller, professor of religion and executive director, the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, University of Southern California, and author, Reinventing American Protestantism: Christianity in the New Millennium

"A collaborative book by two of the nation's most distinguished scholars of religion. Through a cleverly designed combination of personal interviews, case studies, and survey data, Carroll and Roof show us the huge impact of generational differences on the ministries of local churches."
— Robert Wuthnow, author, After Heaven: Spirituality in America Since the 1950s


From the Inside Flap:

Just about all religious communities have to confront the tension between generations-such as the pre-boomers, baby boomers, and gen Xers-who all bring their unique understandings of faith, various levels of religious literacy, and different expectations of what a church or synagogue should be and do in the lives of its members.
Now Bridging Divided Worlds by Jackson W. Carroll and Wade Clark Roof— two experts in the field of contemporary religion— presents a comprehensive study of generational dynamics within congregations. Their groundbreaking work analyzes the crucial role the generations play in reshaping the American religious landscape. Throughout the book the authors examine current religious and spiritual trends and reveal how these changes can offer opportunities for enriching a congregation's faith and spiritual life.
Bridging Divided Worlds offers an insightful analysis of how congregations have historically adapted to change and reveals how various contemporary groups of congregants have dealt with change in recent years. For example, the authors profile three types of congregations: inherited congregations (practices are guided by the past); blended congregations (practices honor inherited tradition and are attentive to generational diversity); and generation-specific congregations (practices are tailored to the needs of a particular generation). With these profiles the authors provide commentary on the strengths and weaknesses of each. In addition to its wealth of information and commentary, this indispensable resource shows how congregations are discovering ways to bridge the gaps and connect the different worlds the generations inhabit to create stronger, richer, and more vibrant religious communities.

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