chapter  9
The Anti-Urban Bias in the Protestant Ethos
ByWilliam Petersen
Pages 9

That Protestant churches failed to follow the American population in its rural-urban migration was a commonplace even at the date of this second observation. What is unusual is that the author held responsible not the anti-religious attitudes of city dwellers but the anticity bias of the Protestant churches. Nor is it true that city dwellers were impervious to Protestantism. With no prestige or mission funds, small sects have often prospered in an urban setting. And according to such statistics as exist, blacks have supported their churches generously; and in the North and West as well as increasingly in the South blacks have lived in large cities. It is true that this parochialism has been common in industrial societies since the rise of Romanticism two centuries ago. Much of the public dispute focused on Darwinism, which over the prior decades the urban headquarters of the churches had more of less reconciled with their doctrines.