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Conflict, Compromise, and Consensus

Conflict, Compromise, and Consensus

(p.144) Chapter 6 Conflict, Compromise, and Consensus
The Megachurch and the Mainline
University of Chicago Press

Existing work on religious change suggests that the degree to which attempts to change a congregation's tradition will be successful depends on how the changes fit or articulate with the external environment (for example, market conditions or demographic shifts) and/or internal context (for example, existing congregational culture). Relying on a series of case studies and direct comparisons between Lutheran congregations, this chapter explores when, why, and how change succeeds and fails. One way in which explanations based on the concept of articulation may be made more robust is to attend to the ongoing processes by which cultural change is produced and received. This chapter looks at the conflict and schism at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, as well as rearticulation and compromise at Grace Lutheran Church. It shows that there are multiple pathways to consensus, compromise, and conflict when congregations attempt to change the religious tradition that governs their collective lives.

Keywords:   religious change, congregational culture, congregations, rearticulation, conflict, consensus, compromise, religious tradition, Grace Lutheran Church

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