Case Studies 1 & 2

I sincerely enjoyed reading my Case Study: “Reinventing American Protestantism: Christianity in the New Millennium”.  Alyssa, Samantha and Noel were great partners and I felt we really got to the heart of what Mr. Miller was trying to convey.  The “new paradigm churches” shows how they are reinventing the way Christianity is experienced in the United States today.  Certainly, a trend is starting to form within Protestantism; and it will only get more diverse going forward.  Our author primarily focused on church attendance, not unlike the way Chaves conducted his surveys on if religiosity was declining in recent years—our presentation showed that to be the case.  People are leaving the traditional church structure in favor of the new paradigm churches.

Then, the class got to see the Catholicism side of transformation in “The Spirit’s Tether: Family, Work, and Religion among American Catholics”.  The author examined two very distinct parishes, one conservative, and one more progressive, to see the dynamics and attendance of each parish.  Everything from the way each parish viewed Mary, mother of Jesus to the length of masses was found in extensive research that the group presented.  Learning about what constitutes an official religion and what doesn’t is probably my favorite aspect of this class so far.  The difference between a “official religion” versus a non-official one comes down to where folks are, how they act and how they dress.  The religious elites dismiss such contemporary practices because they no longer have the power to enforce.  Is this a good thing?  Well, that’s up to the individual to decide.