A Report on the 1997 Summer Research Effort

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The Project on Religion and Urban Culture employed 33 high school, college, and graduate school students to help us learn about religion’s role in shaping Indianapolis. The majority of them spent their summer as part of a research team assigned to a particular Indianapolis neighborhood. Others searched for themes from our neighborhood research, or pursued individual projects on religion’s role in Indianapolis history. The students visited more than 150 congregations and other community organizations and meetings, writing reports and conducting interviews, with the mission to answer the questions that drive our research: Does place matter? Are urban neighborhoods similar, or different in meaningful ways? Does religion build social capital in a neighborhood? How do congregations fit into a neighborhood’s infrastructure?

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