Immigration And Religion In America

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Religion has played a crucial role in American immigration history as an institutional resource for migrants' social adaptation, as a map of meaning for interpreting immigration experiences, and as a continuous force for expanding the national ideal of pluralism. To explain these processes the editors of this volume brought together the perspectives of leading scholars of migration and religion. The resulting essays present salient patterns in American immigrants' religious lives, past and present. In comparing the religious experiences of Mexicans and Italians, Japanese and Koreans, Eastern European Jews and Arab Muslims, and African Americans and Haitians, the book clarifies how such processes as incorporation into existing religions, introduction of new faiths, conversion, and diversification have contributed to America's extraordinary religious diversity and add a comprehensive religious dimension to our understanding of America as a nation of immigrants.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This volume benefits from the rigorous format designed by its distinguished editors. What might initially appear to be an overly rigid structure emerges as a format that enables rich and innovative comparisons of a vast diversity of very singular case studies that are only rarely juxtaposed.”

"This book is particularly valuable for its comparative, historical perspective. It reminds us that today's developments have deep roots and that despite differences, there is much that unites the Asian American and Latino experience. An important contribution to the burgeoning literature on religion and immigration."
-—Peggy Levitt,author of God Needs No Passport: Immigrants and the Changing American Religious Landscape

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814705049
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2008
  • Pages: 413
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Alba is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at City University of New York and is the author of many books, including (with Victor Nee) Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration and Ethnic Identity: The Transformation of White America.

Josh DeWind is Director of the International Migration Program of the Social Science Research Council. He is the co-editor of The Handbook of International Migration: The American Experience.

Albert J. Raboteau is Professor of Religion at Princeton University and the author of Slave Religion: The "Invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South and Canaan Land: A Religious History of African Americans.

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Table of Contents


Richard Alba, Albert J. Raboteau, and Josh DeWind

Part I

  1. Passages in Piety

    Richard Alba and Robert Orsi

  2. Migration and Mexican American Religious Life, 1848–2000

    Roberto Lint Saragossa

  3. Whither the Flock?

    David Lopez

Part II

  1. Japanese and Korean Migrations

    Lori Pierce, Paul Spickard, and David Yoo

  2. Critical Faith

    Jane Naomi Iwamura

6. Buddhism, Rhetoric, and the Korean American Community

Sharon A. Suh

Part III

  1. Immigration and the Transformation of American Jews

    Calvin Goldscheider

  2. Choosing Chosenness in America

    Arnold Eisen

  3. The Shaping of Arab and Muslim Identity in the United States

    Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad

  4. Muslim, Arab, and American

    Ann Chih Lin

Part IV

  1. Black Migration, Religion, and Civic Life

    James Grossman and Albert Raboteau

  2. Catholic, Vodou, and Protestant

    Elizabeth McAlister and Karen Richman

    Integrated Bibliography



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