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Religion and Urban Culture

Perhaps surprisingly, clergy ranked at the bottom of those who have influence in Indianapolis communities although nearly 50 percent of respondents thought clergy should have significant influence. That’s according to research conducted by the multiyear, multidisciplinary Project on Religion and Urban Culture. The Project explored how Indianapolis is shaped by religious practices and how religion has been shaped by the prevailing culture of the city. Interestingly, most congregations have become partners with public and private agencies to deliver social welfare services rather than stand opposite them to challenge the status quo. In effect, they traded their prophetic role for an opportunity to render state-sponsored aid, which raises new questions about how churches are shaped by state forces. Read about other findings in this initial report.



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