Sociology and Learning about Christian Worship Practices

An annotated research guide from the field of sociology

This research guide is designed for students, teachers and scholars with interests in studying congregational worship practices, including fields of study that have not traditionally studied worship practices extensively.

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The audience for this guide includes upper level college students who might want to look at congregational worship practices through the lens of sociology, graduate students in worship and other related Christian practices, and Christian scholars and teachers in a wide variety of colleges, seminaries, divinity schools, and universities in several different denominational traditions.

The research guide includes the following elements:

  • An overview of how sociology could be used to gain insight on dimensions of congregational worship practices, including preaching, prayer, baptism, Lord's Supper, music, art, architecture, language, cultural dynamics, piety, and more

  • Significant publications (books, articles, online sources) in the past 15 years that either studied an aspect of worship perceptively or that used sociology as a powerful lens through which to view worship, with annotations that explain their value

  • 10-15 classic resources in sociology which either were or could be used to study and reflect on worship, with annotations that explain their value

  • An overview of research needed for the future

  • Additional publications of note

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