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Circulation of the Saints 1966-1990: New Data, New Reflections

Reginald W. Bibby and Merlin B. Brinkerhoff
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 33, No. 3 (Sep., 1994), pp. 273-280
DOI: 10.2307/1386690
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1386690
Page Count: 8
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Circulation of the Saints 1966-1990: New Data, New Reflections
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Abstract

Between the 1960s and 1990s, a significant decline in participation in organized religion has occurred in Canada. The situation seemingly has provided less dominant religious groups -- including Conservative Protestants -- with an opportunity to expand their "market shares." By way of exploring such a possibility, we have been monitoring the growth patterns of 20 evangelical churches in a western Canadian city since the late 1960s. Our latest analysis of additions for 1986-90 reveals that recruitment beyond the evangelical community has increased only slightly. However, in reflecting on the project findings, we maintain that their past conclusions may have been excessively harsh, and draw attention to three shortcomings of the "circulation of the saints" thesis. We close with a discussion of some of the implications of the findings for Conservative Protestant activity elsewhere.

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