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Sacred Subdivisions: The Postsuburban Transformation of American Evangelicalism


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In an era where church attendance has reached an all-time low, recent polling has shown that Americans are becoming less formally religious and more promiscuous in their religious commitments. Within both mainline and evangelical Christianity in America, it is common to hear of secularizing pressures and increasing competition from nonreligious sources. Yet there is a kind of religious institution that has enjoyed great popularity over the past thirty years: the evangelical megachurch. Evangelical megachurches not only continue to grow in number, but also in cultural, political, and economic influence. To appreciate their appeal is to understand not only how they are innovating, but more crucially, where their innovation is taking place.
In this groundbreaking and interdisciplinary study, Justin G. Wilford argues that the success of the megachurch is hinged upon its use of space: its location on the postsuburban fringe of large cities, its fragmented, dispersed structure, and its focus on individualized spaces of intimacy such as small group meetings in homes, which help to interpret suburban life as religiously meaningful and create a sense of belonging. Based on original fieldwork at Rick Warrens Saddleback Church, one of the largest and most influential megachurches in America, Sacred Subdivisions explains how evangelical megachurches thrive by transforming mundane secular spaces into arenas of religious significance.

About the Author

Justin G. Wilford is visiting lecturer and staff research associate in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles.  

Table of Contents


Product Details

Wilford, Justin G.
New York University Press
Wilford, Justin
General Religion
Religion Comparative-General
Christianity-Church History General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Christianity » Church History » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Sacred Subdivisions: The Postsuburban Transformation of American Evangelicalism New Trade Paper
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Product details 233 pages New York University Press - English 9780814770931 Reviews:
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