Church Membership in America: Trends and Explanations

Roger Finke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


The received wisdom is that religion will recede as modernity arises (Wilson, 1982). Classic sociological theories argue that this religious recession will occur at all levels, from the behaviors and beliefs of individuals to the vitality of religious organizations. Indeed, to the extent that religious groups and their assertions about powerful supernatural forces do survive, the inherited model suggests that such groups will be restricted to small backwater groups protesting the advance of modernity (Berger, 1968, Berger, 1969). The remaining churches will gradually acquiesce to modernity and the once powerful supernatural forces will give way to more rational explanations and beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2006

Publication series

NameHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research
ISSN (Print)1389-6903
ISSN (Electronic)2542-839X

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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