CSR's faculty Fellows for 2006-2008, Drs. Mark Mulder of Sociology and James K.A. Smith of Philosophy, will present the findings from their study "Subdivided by Faith." In a previous landmark study, Divided by Faith, Michael Emerson and Christian Smith articulated the ways in which evangelical spirituality and practice actually contributed to the racialization and segregation of American culture - the very antithesis of the picture of the redeemed community from every nation, tribe, people and language (Rev. 7:9).
Drs. Mulder and Smith's study seeks to launch a correlate (and supplementary) initiative that considers whether evangelicals tend to exhibit an anti-urban bias that fosters a negative view of urban life, and thus contributes to the growth of suburban and exurban social arrangements. And if this is the case, what are the factors of evangelical theology and spirituality that might lead to this correlation? Exploring a relationship between evangelical spirituality and geographical habits requires both a nuanced understanding of theology (particularly ecclesiology), as well as the rigor of social scientific analysis. The "Subdivided by Faith" study seeks to embody a theologically-informed sociology and a sociologically-accountable theology.
Meeter Center Lecture Hall|
February 26, 2009