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The social sciences have mostly ignored the role of physical buildings in shaping the social fabric of communities and groups. Although the emerging field of the sociology of architecture has started to pay attention to physical structures, Brenneman and Miller are the first to combine the light of sociological theory and the empirical method in order to understand the impact of physical structures on religious groups that build, transform, and maintain them. Religious buildings not only reflect the groups that build them or use them; these physical structures actually shape and change those who gather and worship there. Religious buildings are all around us. From Wall Street to Main Street, from sublime and historic cathedrals to humble converted storefronts, these buildings shape the global religious landscape, "building faith" among those who worship in them while providing a testament to the shape and duration of the faith of those who built them and those who maintain them. Building Faith explores the social impact of religious buildings in places as diverse as a Chicago suburb and a Guatemalan indigenous Mayan village, all the while asking the questions, "How does space shape community?" and "How do communities shape the spaces that speak for them?"

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