Other digital projects locating Lutheranism in the American religious landscape.

The Pluralism Project, Harvard University

Led by Diana L. Eck, the Pluralism Project explores the variety of religious communities in United States with particular attention to the growing presence on non-Christian groups since the mid-twentieth century.  By focusing on local communities and case studies of specific events and interactions the project offers close-up reports of religious life.

In addition the Pluralism Project site provides brief, instructive introductions to major traditions (including Christianity) with special attention to each tradition in the United States, detailed timelines, and bibliographies.

World Religions in Greater Boston provides an overview of Christianity in the area and allows users to search by key word.  It includes profiles of a dozen Lutheran congregations distinguished by their founding, current mission emphasis, and ethnic composition.  The two most complete profiles are for:

  • Faith Lutheran Church, Cambridge founded in 1892 by Swedish immigrants and currently sharing space with the Eritrean Christian Fellowship and Calvary Praise and Worship Center.  http://faithcambridge.org/
Global Religions in Minnesota

Based at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, directed by Professor Shana Sippy  this site displays student work investigating religious diversity in the state, primarily in the vicinity of the Twin Cities. Like the Pluralism Project, this one highlights variety and the effects of post-1962 immigration. A map shows the location of the communities included. The exhibits, which report on students’ extensive field, exhibits provide interpretive text, photos, and audio.

The single Lutheran example is Nile Our Savior’s Lutheran Church of Fairbault.  This Nur Sudanese community shares space with Our Saviors. The site tells the story through the experience of an early leader. One section treats the congregation’s worship life. In addition the exhibit gives background about Sudanese immigration and provides links to further information aboutSudanese Lutherans.

Houses of Worship in Minneapolis and St. Paul, 1849-1924

Houses of Worship draws on a wide range of historical sources to document the location and activities of 250 local religious communities and hundreds of other organizations in nine Twin Cities neighborhoods.  It is a collaboration between Jeanne Halgren Kilde ( jkilde@umn.edu) and Marilyn J. Chiat (chiat@earthlink.net).  To facilitate “exploration of community creation, ethnicity and identity, relationships among congregations, intra-congregational interactions, the role of houses of worship, and social class structures” the site includes a browse-able collection of historical and contemporary photographs, an extensive bibliography, and an interactive map that provides basic information about churches and synagogues. 

Many Lutheran congregations and institutions are included, for example:

Public History Sties using Curatescape: Baltimore, Cleveland, New Orleans, St. Paul

Lutheran congregations and institutions are included in several of the growing collection of public history sites that use present stories about local places using Curatescape. A brief narrative is accompanied by photos and sometimes by audio. Locations are displayed on maps. Individual stories are sorted into thematic tours such as “Sacred Landmarks.” The sites are available on mobile devices to facilitate visits to the actual locations. Key word search gives users access to Lutheran stories as well as mention of Lutherans within other stories. Here are examples:

Concordia Historical Institute

CHI is the Department of Archives and History of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). On its website are posted maps of current LCMS congregations in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee. The maps for St. Louis and St. Louis County, Missouri also include previous congregations and some historical information.


Affordable Eternity: The General Slocum Disaster

June 15, 1904 members of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church boarded the General Slocum, travel to Long Island for a congregational picnic. However, the boat caught fire and over one thousand passengers perished. This site documents the disaster and the victims’ burial in the Lutheran Cemetery, Middle Village, Queens, New York. Brigid Harmon constructed it in 2009 as part of “Creating Digital History,” a course in New York University’s Public History and Archives Program.

Microfilm records of Augustana Synod Congregations

Microfilm Indexes of Local Congregations

Minnesota Conference and Red River Valley Conference, Augustana Synod

These films contain a variety of rich genealogical material and important details concerning church/congregational histories. Generally, information includes meeting minutes and various ministerial acts such as baptisms, confirmations, marriages, reception and dismissal of members, and funerals. Dates vary by congregation. 

These are also mapped.

More to come . . . .bibliography & links to relevant institutions and organizations.