The Polis Center Logo

Religion and Public Life (Summer 2002)

Religion and American Community
Religion as a Window on Culture
Faith and Community in Broad Ripple
Religion and Public Life (Summer 2002)
Contact Us
Curriculum Materials
Project Home

The Indianapolis Religious Landscape 

      Like most American cities, the Religious Community is actually a society of many communities representing a variety of beliefs, practices and attitudes. Moreover, each of these communities reveals not only different beliefs and attitudes; they organize themselves in fundamentally different ways. In this segment, we will explore what these local religious communities hold in common, and what makes them distinct. Congregations, religious studies classes and human service organizations will particularly benefit from this segment.

Religion and Race 


Faith-Based Partnerships 


Beliefs, Attitudes and Practices of the Indianapolis Religious Community 


Private Ministries and Public Lives 


Religion's Contribution of Social Leadrship 


Religion and Social Services: Health Care 




The Role of Urban-Suburban Partnerships 

      Partnerships between urban and suburban congregations have the potential of matching resources with needs and creating opportunities for interaction among people of diverse backgrounds. This segment will explore three local examples of urban-suburban partnerships and how these congregations were formed and sustained. We’ll look at the factors that give rise to these partnerships, what factors sustain or threaten them, and how congregations tend to move from an abstract discussion of partnership to an on-site collaboration. Every partnership is different, and this segment will emphasize the importance of creating a model that is right for particular partners, not simply transferring a model from somewhere else.

The Sacred Spaces of Indianapolis 

      The influence and varieties of religious life in Indianapolis and in the nation can be found not only in the people and institutions but also in the art and architecture of a community. This segment will examine the many sacred spaces of a city: land, buildings, monuments and public art. While we’ll note the sacred art and space of local congregations, we’ll more closely examine religious influence on publicly accessible art and architecture. How are these spaces and places being preserved? Where are they disappearing? We’ll examine the stories that these places tell and the contemporary examples of religious art and architecture.

The Vitality of Religion in Indianapolis 

      Having explored the many facets of religious life in Indianapolis and the nation, the question remains: How vital is religion in Indianapolis? This segment would interview key civic, religious and academic leaders who would consider religion’s place in the city in light of TPC’s research of the past five years. How influential are the religious beliefs and practices in shaping the common good? How, if at all, is this influence different from the past and how is it likely to take shape in the future? What future roles do these leaders imagine religion and religious institutions can play in shaping the public good?

Polis Center Navigation