(p. vii ) Acknowledgments
I am grateful to three research assistants—Anthony Broyles, Pam Hayden, and Sally Dwyer‐McNulty—for the hours they spent on this book. The book is based on fieldwork, conducted between October 1991 and December 1993 in three churches: the Oak Grove Church, the Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship, and the Philadelphia Church of Christ.1 The book could not have been written were it not for the many kindnesses extended to me by the members of these three congregations. I am especially grateful to the six women—identified in the text as Jane Thomas, Susan Bateson, Emma Roberts, Sarah Mather, Margaret Drake, and Eleanor Gregory—who allowed themselves to be interviewed by Hayden and Dwyer‐McNulty2 and whose answers helped me to see things that I would otherwise have missed about the way in which social power flows through Christian congregations.
Bruce Comens, who teaches English at Temple University, was kind enough to visit all three churches, and his essays on what he saw there were of enormous help to me. Don Browning and Robert Wuthnow provided invaluable assistance in designing the questionnaires that guided the interviews with the six congregants.
Portions of this book were also read at various times by Browning, Wuthnow, Margaret Bendroth, Courtney Bender, Pamela Couture, Allen F. Davis, R. Marie Griffith, D. G. Hart, James Hudnut‐Beumler, William R. Hutchison, Janet Jakobsen, Lee Junker, Louise Kidder, Robert Kidder, Laura Levitt, Colleen McDannell, Martin Marty, Bonnie Miller‐McLemore, Esther Mürer, Robert Orsi, Anthony Prete, Edward Queen II, Daniel Sack, Barbara Savage, Leigh Schmidt, Herbert Simons, Thomas Tweed, Heidi Rolland Unruh, Judith Weisenfeld, and Diane Winston. I am more grateful than I can say for the help these friendly critics have given me.
(p. viii ) The entire book was reviewed with great care by Alison Anderson and Maud Lavin; their suggestions on how to improve the manuscript were extraordinarily helpful. The book was also strengthened by the support of Kathryn Damiano, John Harding, Peter Haynes, Janet Stokes, and Raymond Dewey Watt, Jr.
The research on which the book is based was supported by a series of generous grants from the Lilly Endowment. It was supported, too, by grants from the Religion, Family and Culture Project of the University of Chicago and from the Research and Study Leave Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences of Temple University.