Ryan Burge and Paul Djupe
Journal of Religious Leadership. 15 (1): 5-30.
Publication year: 2016

With its postmodern foundation and profound critique of established Protestant Christianity, the emergent church movement has attracted relatively few converts but has gained a significant amount of media attention. The Emergent Church offers an opportunity to assess how the movement’s core tenets have diffused into other religious populations. Drawing from a sample of Protestant clergy, we find that diffusion of the emergent church movement is surprisingly low, especially among the targets of the emergent critique – pastors from evangelical backgrounds. But, among those with an opinion, approval of the movement lies along the lines of the emergent critique, garnering support from those with strong democratic norms, political engagement, liberalism, and antagonism for authority in the pulpit and textual interpretation.