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Getting to Church

Exploring Narratives of Gender and Joining

Sally K. Gallagher

14 September 2017

ISBN: 9780190239688

240 pages

In Stock

Price: £24.49



Drawing on extensive field work, personal interviews and focus groups in mainline, evangelical, and eastern Orthodox churches, Sally Gallagher examines what it is that draws women and men differently into different types of congregations.

  • Explains what draws women and men into different types of congregations
  • Offers one of the first long term studies of congregational activity
  • Addresses the current generalization that women are more religious than men

About the Author(s)

Sally K. Gallagher, Professor of Sociology, Oregon State University

Sally K. Gallagher is Professor of Sociology in the School of Public Policy at Oregon State University. She is the author of Making Do in Damascus: Navigating a Generation of Change in Family and Work, and Evangelical Identity and Gendered Family Life, as well as other works in the areas of gender, religion, family and caregiving.

Table of Contents

    Why Won't Religion Just Go Away?
    Gender and Congregational Culture
    Appendix: Fieldwork in Three Congregations


"... providing so much detail has the advantage of contextualizing the study's findings so as to make them accessible to its reader, rather than requiring her solely to take the author's word for it. An additional advantage of this approach is that it positions the book to provide insight into a variety of aspects of congregational life, not only those which are significant from the perspective of gender. As a result, this volume is likely to be of interest to a wide audience, including especially scholars of sociology, religion, and gender." - Rachel Rupprecht, University of Notre Dame, Religious Studies Review

"Highly accessible for a lay or novice audience. In particular, I can imagine pastors and other church leaders would find her insights into how members perceive churches, their reasons for joining, and even their reasons for leaving to be incredibly helpful in church planning. Additionally, this book would make a nice addition to an undergraduate sociology of religion class because of its in-depth consideration of religious communities." - Courtney Ann Irby, Sociology of Religion

"Gallagher's convincing demonstrations and statistical observations provide ample space for theologians and gender theorists to pick up the conversation ... Overall, this book has a crucial role to play within Christian gender debates. Its purpose lies within debunking myths about religious identity and gender that some religious scholars and lay people still uphold. The claim that women are more religious than men or that Christianity is somehow a 'woman's religion' can no longer be reasonably accepted given Gallagher's observations." - Sarah Dannemiller, Reading Religion

"Sally Gallagher's thoughtful and well-researched analysis gives us new insight into how gender shapes the ways that people experience and enact religious commitment, and how they choose to join or to leave religious communities. This nuanced account takes into account a wide range of contemporary American religious communities and helps us to move beyond tired stereotypes about women'sand men'sreligiosity." - Penny Edgell, Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean for Social Sciences, University of Minnesota