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Grant number like: FT-55193-07

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Gretchen T. Buggeln
Valparaiso University (Valparaiso, IN 46383-4520)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2007 – 7/31/2007

"Churches for Today": Modernism and Suburban Expansion in Post-World War II America"

This interdisciplinary study investigates the emerging religious culture of postwar, suburban American churches primarily through the lens of architecture and material culture. The project encompasses a study of the buildings, interior fittings, and written records of about 75 representative, primarily Midwestern congregations who chose to build in the newly popular modern style. These ubiquitous, often maligned church buildings of the 1950s and 1960s represent a complex interaction of people, structure, and mission in religious life at a time when American communities were rapidly changing. Although this project is a type of architectural history, it ultimately addresses substantial questions about lived religion in the suburbs.