A Church of Our Own: Disestablishment and Diversity in American Religion

Front Cover
Rutgers University Press, 2005 - Religion - 307 pages
0 Reviews

In this definitive collection of essays spanning fifteen years, R. Stephen Warner traces the development of the “new paradigm” interpretation of American religion. Originally formulated in the 1990s in response to prevailing theories of secularization that focused on the waning plausibility of religion in modern societies, the new paradigm reoriented the study of religion to a focus on communities, subcultures, new religious institutions, and the fluidity of modern religious identities. This perspective continues to be one of the most important driving forces in the field and one of the most significant challenges to the idea that religious pluralism inevitably leads to religious decline.

A leading sociologist of religion, Warner shows how the new paradigm stresses the role that religion plays as a vehicle for the bonding and expression of communities within the United States—a society founded on the principle of religious disestablishment and characterized by a diverse and mobile population. Chapters examine evangelicals and Pentecostals, gay and lesbian churches, immigrant religious institutions, Hispanic parishes, and churches for the deaf in terms of this framework. Newly written introductory and concluding essays set these groups within the broad context of the developing field. A thoughtfully organized and timely collection, the volume is a valuable classroom resource as well as essential reading for scholars of contemporary religion.


What people are saying - Write a review

A church of our own: disestablishment and diversity in American religion

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

With this collection of essays written since 1990, Warner (New Wine in Old Wineskins: Evangelicals and Liberals in a Small-Town Church ) outlines his arguments for a "new paradigm" for studying ... Read full review


Reflections on American Religion 1991
A Paradigm Is Not a Theory 1997
New Paradigm Histories of American Religion
Religion Boundaries and Bridges 1997
Enlisting Smelsers Theory of Ambivalence to Maintain
Mendocino Presbyterian
The Place of the Congregation in the Contemporary American
Seeing the Word in a Church for the Deaf with James
Pentecostal Immigrants and the Making of the
Some Principles
Interpreting Asian American Religion for a NonAmerican
Changes in the Civic Role of Religion 1999
Looking Forward and Outward
List of Authors Cited Works

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2005)

R. STEPHEN WARNER is a professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 1989, he received the Distinguished Book Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion for New Wine in Old Wineskins: Evangelicals and Liberals in a Small-Town Church.

Bibliographic information