Religion: Looking from the Inside Out

A churchman studies why 80 million are unchurched

Despite all the talk about a religion boom and the fact that 125 million people are on church membership rolls, masses of Americans have nothing whatsoever to do with organized religion. According to a 1974 report by the Glenmary Home Missioners, a Roman Catholic agency, they number about 80 million.

A man of the cloth intrigued by that figure was the Rev. J. Russell Hale, a professor of church and society at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, Pa. Hale, 58, decided to try to find out why so many people prefer to be unchurched. Doing...

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