AuthorAnderson, Shawna Leigh
Committee ChairGalaskiewicz, Joseph
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractConflict in religious organizations is certainly not new. Conflict has been implicit in much of the theorizing on religion's social organization and its relationship to social change. Despite the clear and far-reaching implications of conflict for religious organizations, especially congregations, we know relatively little about why these conflicts occur and what they are about. With this project, I answer some basic descriptive questions about congregational conflict by capitalizing on nationally representative data from the National Congregations Study (NCS), and I build on these and other findings to move the study of congregational conflict beyond descriptive facts and toward explanation by asking: Why do congregations experience conflict? Why do congregations argue about some issues and not others? Existing literature suggests several key components to an explanation of congregational conflict: theological orientation, engagement with the secular world, organizational structure, racial diversity and internal change. I test a series of hypotheses and conclude that overall, organizational structure and internal change are most clearly related to rates of conflict in religious congregations. Theological orientation and engagement with the secular world do not show the hypothesized relationships, and it is difficult to evaluate the effect of racial diversity on congregational conflict.