Getting Saved in America: Taiwanese Immigration and Religious Experience / Edition 1

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Overview

What does becoming American have to do with becoming religious? Many immigrants become more religious after coming to the United States. Taiwanese are no different. Like many Asian immigrants to the United States, Taiwanese frequently convert to Christianity after immigrating. But Americanization is more than simply a process of Christianization. Most Taiwanese American Buddhists also say they converted only after arriving in the United States even though Buddhism is a part of Taiwan's dominant religion. By examining the experiences of Christian and Buddhist Taiwanese Americans, Getting Saved in America tells "a story of how people become religious by becoming American, and how people become American by becoming religious."

Carolyn Chen argues that many Taiwanese immigrants deal with the challenges of becoming American by becoming religious. Based on in-depth interviews with Taiwanese American Christians and Buddhists, and extensive ethnographic fieldwork at a Taiwanese Buddhist temple and a Taiwanese Christian church in Southern California, Getting Saved in America is the first book to compare how two religions influence the experiences of one immigrant group. By showing how religion transforms many immigrants into Americans, it sheds new light on the question of how immigrants become American.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Politics and Religion
Getting Saved in America: Taiwanese Immigration and Religious Experience will be an invaluable addition to the fields of sociology and religion, religion and immigration, Asian American studies and Ethnic Studies and illuminative for both students and scholars.
— Sharon A. Suh
Church History
Chen has . . . provided a valuable new resource for both researchers and teachers, one which well compliments other studies on immigrant religion by focusing on its transformative, not just preservative, aspects. Scholars of both religious studies and sociology will learn much from this work.
— Jeff Wilson
China Perspectives - Hayet Sellami
This book thus offers interesting points of view on the construction of identity and constitutes a good reference for understanding the family and religious traditions of the Taiwanese people: meaningful anecdotes, examples, and quotations, and a psychological approach.
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion - Rebbeca Y. Kim
[R]eaders will certainly agree that Getting Saved in America is an engaging , insightful, and well-written book about immigrants and their religious conversion. . . . Getting Saved will be a standard text for contemporary studies of immigrants and religious conversion. It is a must-read and will no doubt be in the running for the best book lists of the year in the fields of immigration and religion.
Journal of Politics and Religion - Sharon A. Suh
Getting Saved in America: Taiwanese Immigration and Religious Experience will be an invaluable addition to the fields of sociology and religion, religion and immigration, Asian American studies and Ethnic Studies and illuminative for both students and scholars.
Church History - Jeff Wilson
Chen has . . . provided a valuable new resource for both researchers and teachers, one which well compliments other studies on immigrant religion by focusing on its transformative, not just preservative, aspects. Scholars of both religious studies and sociology will learn much from this work.
China Perspectives
This book thus offers interesting points of view on the construction of identity and constitutes a good reference for understanding the family and religious traditions of the Taiwanese people: meaningful anecdotes, examples, and quotations, and a psychological approach.
— Hayet Sellami
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
[R]eaders will certainly agree that Getting Saved in America is an engaging , insightful, and well-written book about immigrants and their religious conversion. . . . Getting Saved will be a standard text for contemporary studies of immigrants and religious conversion. It is a must-read and will no doubt be in the running for the best book lists of the year in the fields of immigration and religion.
— Rebbeca Y. Kim
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
[R]eaders will certainly agree that Getting Saved in America is an engaging , insightful, and well-written book about immigrants and their religious conversion. . . . Getting Saved will be a standard text for contemporary studies of immigrants and religious conversion. It is a must-read and will no doubt be in the running for the best book lists of the year in the fields of immigration and religion.
— Rebbeca Y. Kim
China Perspectives
This book thus offers interesting points of view on the construction of identity and constitutes a good reference for understanding the family and religious traditions of the Taiwanese people: meaningful anecdotes, examples, and quotations, and a psychological approach.
— Hayet Sellami
From the Publisher
"This book thus offers interesting points of view on the construction of identity and constitutes a good reference for understanding the family and religious traditions of the Taiwanese people: meaningful anecdotes, examples, and quotations, and a psychological approach."—Hayet Sellami, China Perspectives

"[R]eaders will certainly agree that Getting Saved in America is an engaging , insightful, and well-written book about immigrants and their religious conversion. . . . Getting Saved will be a standard text for contemporary studies of immigrants and religious conversion. It is a must-read and will no doubt be in the running for the best book lists of the year in the fields of immigration and religion."—Rebbeca Y. Kim, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

"Getting Saved in America: Taiwanese Immigration and Religious Experience will be an invaluable addition to the fields of sociology and religion, religion and immigration, Asian American studies and Ethnic Studies and illuminative for both students and scholars."—Sharon A. Suh, Journal of Politics and Religion

"Chen has . . . provided a valuable new resource for both researchers and teachers, one which well compliments other studies on immigrant religion by focusing on its transformative, not just preservative, aspects. Scholars of both religious studies and sociology will learn much from this work."—Jeff Wilson, Church History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691119625
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 2/19/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn Chen is associate professor of sociology and Asian American studies at Northwestern University.

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Table of Contents

A Note on Translations ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction: Becoming Religious by Becoming American 1
Chapter 1. From Beautiful Island (Ilha Formosa)
to Beautiful Country (America: Bi-kuo/Mei-guo)
TAIWANESE IMMIGRATION AND RELIGION IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 16
Chapter 2. Becoming Christian
BREAKING TRADITIONS AND MAKING TRADITIONS 38
Chapter 3. Becoming Buddhist
FROM EMBEDDED RELIGION TO EXPLICIT RELIGION 77
Chapter 4. Becoming American Men and Women
OTHERWORLDLY NARRATIVES AND THIS-WORLDLY SELVES 111
Chapter 5. Cultivating American Saints
RELIGIOUS DISCIPLINES OF THE SELF 146
Conclusion: Becoming Americans
FROM MIGRANTS TO PILGRIMS 186
Appendix
Interview Schedule 203
References 207
Index 227

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