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Passing the PlateWhy American Christians Don't Give Away More Money$
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Christian Smith, Michael O. Emerson, and Patricia Snell

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195337112

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195337112.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2020

The View from Pulpits and Pews

The View from Pulpits and Pews

(p.99) Chapter 4 The View from Pulpits and Pews
Passing the Plate

Patricia Snell (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes a survey of Christian pastors and church members about money and stewardship in order to understand the thoughts, feelings, experiences, and meanings of American Christians that might affect their financial giving behaviors. In-depth, face to face interviews were conducted with twenty-six Christian church pastors and fifty-one church parishioners in Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, Kansas, Colorado, and California. The interview respondents came from many Christian denominations representing different kinds of conservative Protestant, mainline Protestant, black Protestant, and Catholic churches. The interviews revealed that the issue of financial giving is one that seems to matter to American Christians, yet about which they are not clear and settled but rather uneasy if not uncomfortable. Many American Christians are less than fully contented with the practice and amount of their voluntary financial giving, but most seem content to live with whatever underlying guilt, confusion, or uncertainty they feel about it. Many American Christian pastors also struggle with varying degrees of discomfort and frustration over the issue of giving in their churches.

Keywords:   American Christians, donations, financial giving, generosity, parishioners, pastors, stewardship

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