In this Book

The Suburban Church
summary

After World War II, America’s religious denominations spent billions on church architecture as they spread into the suburbs. In this richly illustrated history of midcentury modern churches in the Midwest, Gretchen Buggeln shows how architects and suburban congregations joined forces to work out a vision of how modernist churches might help reinvigorate Protestant worship and community. The result is a fascinating new perspective on postwar architecture, religion, and society.

Drawing on the architectural record, church archives, and oral histories, The Suburban Church focuses on collaborations between architects Edward D. Dart, Edward A. Sövik, Charles E. Stade, and seventy-five congregations. By telling the stories behind their modernist churches, the book describes how the buildings both reflected and shaped developments in postwar religion—its ecumenism, optimism, and liturgical innovation, as well as its fears about staying relevant during a time of vast cultural, social, and demographic change.

While many scholars have characterized these congregations as “country club” churches, The Suburban Church argues that most were earnest, well-intentioned religious communities caught between the desire to serve God and the demands of a suburban milieu in which serving middle-class families required most of their material and spiritual resources.


Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-x
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xi-xxix
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 1. The Modern Church Movement
  2. pp. 1-28
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. The "Form-Givers" of Suburban Religion
  2. pp. 29-54
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. From Dream to Dedication
  2. pp. 55-84
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. The A-Frame Church
  2. pp. 85-124
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5. The Suburban Sanctuary
  2. pp. 125-168
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 6. Living and Learning as a Suburban Church Family
  2. pp. 169-200
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 7. Religion, Architecture, and Community in the Celebrated Suburb of Park Forest, Illinois
  2. pp. 201-238
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 8. The Afterlife of the Postwar Suburban Church
  2. pp. 239-264
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix A
  2. pp. 265-265
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix B
  2. pp. 266-267
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix C
  2. pp. 268-271
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix D
  2. pp. 272-272
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix E
  2. pp. 273-274
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 275-312
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Sources for Research
  2. pp. 313-330
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 331-345
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. About the Author
  2. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.