Tipton, Steven M. Papers

Span Dates: 1965-2007
Bulk Dates:
Volume: 16 cubic feet (26 boxes)


The collection consists primarily of research files, organizational files, interview transcripts, writings, and audiovisual materials, specifically audiocassettes, most of which house recordings of interviews. Most of the research files consist of work that would inform Tipton’s publications, particularly Getting Saved from the Sixties. Getting Saved from the Sixties was a result of Tipton’s doctoral work and explores conversion as a change of heart, mind, and way of life. The organizational files consist primarily of materials relating to the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) and similar interfaith organizations, such as Interfaith Impact, and the Interfaith Alliance. This series includes correspondence, printed material, reports, and research files. There are numerous interview transcriptions, many of which informed the book, Habits of the Heart, and most of the audiocassettes are recordings of interviews. Habits of the Heart, a Pulitizer Prize jury finalist, is a collaborative work with Robert Bellah, Richard Madsen, William Sullivan, and Ann Swidler and is a social inquiry into middle-class American mores and culture in love, work, and politics. Finally, there are several other writings, including from Tipton’s career as a student at Stanford and Harvard, book reviews he wrote, drafts and notes from his own publications, and book reviews of those publications written by others. As noted, the audiovisual materials are comprised entirely of cassette tapes and primarily include recordings of interviews Tipton conducted. Notable exceptions include recordings of talks given at two events: Interfaith Impact Foundation, Stopping the Violence: From Fear to Community, legislative briefing in Washington, D.C., March 13-16, 1994 and Road to Victory, 1997, a then annual conference held by the Christian Coalition.

Hist/Bio Note

Steven M. Tipton (1946-) is an American scholar. Tipton attended Stanford University (California) from 1964-1968 and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He then went on to attend Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) from 1971-1979 to earn dual doctorate degrees in the fields of religion and sociology. He started as an Assistant Professor at Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia) in 1979, later serving as an Associate Professor (1983-1990), Director of the Graduate Division of Religion (1998-2003 and 2006-2007), Professor of Sociology of Religion (1991-2008), and, finally, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Sociology of Religion. Tipton is currently serving in that same role as a Professor Emeritus. Tipton taught sociology of religion, morality, and culture in the Candler School of Theology, the Graduate Division of Religion, and the Department of Sociology. Tipton’s publications include Getting Saved from the Sixties: Moral Meaning in Conversion and Cultural Change (1984, 2nd edition in 2014), Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life (1985, 2nd edition in 1996, and 3rd edition in 2008), The Good Society (1991), and Public Pulpits (2007). Tipton’s awards include Sloan Scholar (1964-1968), Kent Fellow (1973-1976), Ford Foundation Research Grantee (1977-1978), NEH, Rockefeller Foundation, and Ford Foundation Research Grantee (1979-1983). In 2011, Tipton was awarded three prestigious grants, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the Lilly Endowment and the Louisville Institute, for his project The Life to Come: Re-Creating Retirement (2018), a moral and social inquiry into the ethos of retirement emerging in the everyday experience and social imagination of American baby boomers.

Finding Aid

An online finding aid is avaiable.


Part of the Pitts Special Collections and Archives Repository 1531 Dickey Drive 560 Atlanta GA 30322 USA


Ecumenical | Author/editor