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David O. Moberg Papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description





Secondary Manuscripts

Secondary Published Material

Accession 2010-007

Accession 2010-1084

Accession 2009-125

Accession 2011-0063

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David O. Moberg Papers, 1949-1996 | Special Collections, Buswell Library

By The Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections Staff

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Collection Overview

Title: David O. Moberg Papers, 1949-1996Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1955-1981

ID: SC/065

Primary Creator: Moberg, David O. (1922-)

Extent: 18.0 Boxes. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged by series with folder level control.

Date Acquired: 00/00/1994

Subjects: Aging., American Baptist Convention., American Scientific Affiliation., Association for the Development of Religious Information Systems (U.S.), Bethel College (Saint Paul, Minn.), Christian biography., Christianity and politics - History - 20th century., Christian Sociological Society., Church and social problems, Church work with older people., Marriage - Religious aspects - Christianity., Moberg, David O. - Correpondence., Older people, Older people - Religious life., Prayer - United States., Religion and sociology, Sociology, Christian., Work - Religious aspects - Christianity.

Forms of Material: Biographies., Correspondence, Photographs

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The David Moberg papers are organized into five major manuscript series: Biographical, Correspondence, Activities, Media and Secondary Publications. The largest portion of the collection is found in the Activities series which is divided into sub-series that straddle personal biographical and non-teaching professional and teaching files. These include: Officer Candidate School, Minnesota Boys Town, American Scientific Affiliation, Committee on Social Agencies of Welfare, St. Paul Conference on Human Rights, Community and Race, Bethel College Faculty Discussions, Faith in Life Dialogue, American Baptist Churches, Professional (with sub-sub-series: Teaching Materials and Publications) and Research. This portion of the collection spans a significant amount of space along with spanning decades of professional life. The largest single series is the pamphlets series. Additional accessions received from 1999 to 2007 await processing.

Biographical Note

Born February 13, 1922 in Montevideo, Minnesota to Fred L. and Anna E. (Sundberg) Moberg, David attended Bethel Junior College (A.A., 1942) and the University of Minnesota. In 1942 Moberg was drafted into Army, where he remained until the end of World War II. In 1946 he married Helen H. Heitzman and together they eventually had four children (in addition to one dying in early childhood).

Then living in the Northwest, Moberg restarted his studies and graduated with a degree in history from Seattle Pacific College in 1947. From 1946 to 1948, while studying, Moberg also served as pastor of a ministry that became Sylvan Way Baptist Church in Bremerton, Washington. He continued on at the University of Washington, doing graduate work in sociology, receiving a Master of Arts degree in 1949.

Moberg returned to upper Midwest and began teaching at Bethel College in St. Paul. While teaching he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, writing his dissertation on religion and personal adjustment in old age—beginning his areas of specialty in sociology of religion and social gerontology. Over the next twenty years he advanced from the rank of instructor to professor of Sociology and chair of the Social Sciences department at Bethel College.

In 1968 Moberg accepted the position of professor of Sociology at Marquette University, a position he held until 1991 when he was granted emeritus status. He also served as chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology from 1968 to 1977. In the year of his retirement Bethel College established the Moberg Lectureship in Christianity and Sociology. The following year his wife, Helen, died. In 1994 He married Marlys Taege, well-known for her publications and leadership contributions in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod and the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.

Moberg is a prolific author, writing and editing 28 books and hundreds of articles in professional journals. Moberg is well-known for his research on aging and faith. His books, The Church as a Social Institution: The Sociology of American Religion (1962) and The Great Reversal: Evangelism Versus Social Concern (1972), are especially regarded and have gone through several editions. Noted-psychologists Ellison and Paloutzian credit Moberg for the concepts behind the widely used spiritual well-being scale.

Moberg helped found the Christian Sociological Society and has fostered the work of the Association of Christians Teaching Sociology. He has also played significant roles in various professional associations, especially as an editor. He served in editorial capacities for the Review of Religious Research (Editor, 1969-1973), Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation (Editor, 1962-1964), and Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion (founding co-editor). One of Moberg’s more important contributions to the field of sociology was the the founding of the Association for the Development of Religious Information Systems (ADRIS), an organization dedicated to promoting a global network of religious information exchange. He has held leadership positions in many professional societies, including presidencies of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, Religious Research Association, and the Wisconsin Sociological Association.

Many have recognized Moberg’s contributions. He has been honored with two Fulbright professorships and numerous lectureships, including the H. Paul Douglass Lecture of the Religious Research Association and the inaugural Kellogg Gerontology Lectures at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was also the first Frederick A. Shippey Lecturer in Sociology and Christianity at Drew University. He has been called the "godfather of the religion and aging research field" (Seeber) and "the father and dean of research on religion and aging...who pioneered and defined empirical research in Social Gerontology. Moberg was ahead of his time" (Levin and Chatters).  Moberg has appeared in Who's Who for more than four decades.

Although retired from teaching, he continues to research, write, and serve as an editorial referee, among other professional work. He remains a bible study teacher and is a board member of several elder-living-related organizations including Vibrant Living (Downers Grove, Illinois) and ManorPark (Milwaukee, Wisconsin).

Subject/Index Terms

American Baptist Convention.
American Scientific Affiliation.
Association for the Development of Religious Information Systems (U.S.)
Bethel College (Saint Paul, Minn.)
Christian biography.
Christianity and politics - History - 20th century.
Christian Sociological Society.
Church and social problems
Church work with older people.
Marriage - Religious aspects - Christianity.
Moberg, David O. - Correpondence.
Older people
Older people - Religious life.
Prayer - United States.
Religion and sociology
Sociology, Christian.
Work - Religious aspects - Christianity.

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections, Buswell Library

Alternate Extent Statement: 7 linear feet

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this collection.

Use Restrictions: Duplication may be restricted if copying could cause damage to items.

Acquisition Source: Gift

Acquisition Method: David Moberg

Preferred Citation: David O. Moberg Papers (SC-65), Wheaton College Special Collections, Wheaton, Illinois.

Other Note: The papers of David O. Moberg, display the professional life of professor and researcher of sociology.

Other URL: http://library.wheaton.edu

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Biographical],
[Series 2: Correspondence],
[Series 3: Activities],
[Series 4: Media],
[Series 5: Secondary Manuscripts],
[Series 6: Secondary Published Material],
[Series 7: Accession 2010-007],
[Series 8: Accession 2010-1084],
[Series 9: Accession 2009-125],
[Series 10: Accession 2011-0063],

Series 5: Secondary ManuscriptsAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 1Add to your cart.
Box 11Add to your cart.
Folder 1: The Church in Suburban Captivity  Gibson WinterAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Gerontology: Perspectives and Issues  Kenneth F. FerraroAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: To The Memory of the Unknown Soldier  El RissAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: VanLeeuwen's Lectures at Fuller Theological SeminaryAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Finch's Fuller Lectures at Fuller Theological SeminaryAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Fahs, Ivan @ Bethel College (now at Wheaton)Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Biographical],
[Series 2: Correspondence],
[Series 3: Activities],
[Series 4: Media],
[Series 5: Secondary Manuscripts],
[Series 6: Secondary Published Material],
[Series 7: Accession 2010-007],
[Series 8: Accession 2010-1084],
[Series 9: Accession 2009-125],
[Series 10: Accession 2011-0063],

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