Friday, June 05, 2009

Do you live in a Lutheran community?

I recently finished reading "The American Church in Crisis" by David Olson. He presents a lot of data about church attendance rates across the country, and he presents this memorable line about where Lutherans are located:

"The farther a state is from the Minnesota-Dakota border, the lower the percentage of Lutherans."

Sure enough, judging from the map he presents, that's true. So, just take out your atlas, and you'll know something about the religious composition of your community.


jeremy said...

Central Texas (where I live) is the exception. Germans (including my ancestors) flocked to New Braunfels, TX, in the 19th century and there remains a large number of Lutherans around here.

Brad Wright said...

Maybe we should change the U.S. map to show the proximity of Central Texas to North Dakota?

jeremy said...

Texas is the new South Dakota.

Have you seen the Glenmary maps of the dominant religious tradition by county? Pretty interesting to view with immigration patterns in mind.

Nate said...

Southeastern Pennsylvania, where I was born, is another exception, although even there the percentage doesn't match that found in the upper Midwest.

Here is a copy of the Glenmary map for Lutherans in 2000.

Brad Wright said...

Yes, I've seen that map, and sure enough, central Texas and Southeastern PA have Lutheran concentrations.

I like their map series.

jeremy said...

There you go. A lot of the Lutherans around here are Missouri Synod, too, so we'd probably be even "darker" if we took them into account.