Race, Religion, Region: Landscapes of Encounter in the American West

Race, Religion, Region: Landscapes of Encounter in the American West

by Fay Botham
     
 

ISBN-10: 0816524785

ISBN-13: 9780816524785

Pub. Date: 09/15/2006

Publisher: University of Arizona Press

Racial and religious groups have played a key role in shaping the American West, yet scholars have for the most part ignored how race and religion have influenced regional identity. In this collection, eleven contributors explore the intersections of race, religion, and region to show how they transformed the West. From the Punjabi Mexican Americans of California

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Overview

Racial and religious groups have played a key role in shaping the American West, yet scholars have for the most part ignored how race and religion have influenced regional identity. In this collection, eleven contributors explore the intersections of race, religion, and region to show how they transformed the West. From the Punjabi Mexican Americans of California to the European American shamans of Arizona to the Mexican Chinese of the borderlands, historical meanings of race in the American West are complex and are further complicated by religious identities. This book moves beyond familiar stereotypes to achieve a more nuanced understanding of race while also showing how ethnicity formed in conjunction with religious and regional identity. The chapters demonstrate how religion shaped cultural encounters, contributed to the construction of racial identities, and served as a motivating factor in the lives of historical actors. The opening chapters document how religion fostered community in Los Angeles in the first half of the twentieth century. The second section examines how physical encounters—such as those involving Chinese immigrants, Hermanos Penitentes, and Pueblo dancers—shaped religious and racial encounters in the West. The final essays investigate racial and religious identity among the Latter-day Saints and southern California Muslims. As these contributions clearly show, race, religion, and region are as critical as gender, sexuality, and class in understanding the melting pot that is the West. By depicting the West as a unique site for understanding race and religion, they open a new window on how we view all of America.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816524785
Publisher:
University of Arizona Press
Publication date:
09/15/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : rethinking the three Rs3
1Going against the grain : multiracialism and the fate of the social gospel in 1920s Los Angeles14
2Religion, immigrants, and Americanizers in Los Angeles, 1900-192527
3Bringing in the sheets : Robert Shuler, the Ku Klux Klan, and the southernization of Southern California41
4Engaging habits and besotted idolatry : viewing Chinese religions in the American West60
5Bodies on borders : African Americans, penitentes, and social order in the Southwest89
6Modernists, Pueblo Indians, and the politics of primitivism101
7Children of Ham and children of Abraham : the construction and deconstruction of ethnic identities in the Mormon heartland115
8E Pluribus Unum : the Islamic Center of Southern California and the making of an American Muslim identity125

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