Gatherings in Diaspora: Religious Communities and the New Immigration

By R. Stephen Warner; Judith G. Wittner | Go to book overview

church within the existing structure. This new congregation has become very successful in its own right. However, it has been nurtured quite apart from first-generation influence, so it is unclear whether this second-generation congregation will ever supplant the first generation in the Paxton church building. Can the two groups really eventually mesh into one de-ethnicized church, or will this second-generation congregation move away from the "gilded cage" and toward a future as a multiethnic, missions-minded church? The answer will depend on many of the same factors that will determine the fate of the Korean ethnic church in general in the United States.

One factor is the rate of Korean immigration to the United States and the number of Korean students who come to study in American schools. Another factor is the degree to which Korean Americans will desire ethnic fellowship. As they become increasingly acculturated and increasingly intermarry, Korean Americans may not feel a particular desire to join a Korean church or may come to prefer a multiethnic church. Third, the Korean American community may choose to become more politically active or to form more secular organizations, Much would be alternative settings for experiencing ethnic fellowship. Much also depends on the changing nature of American society and the degree of acceptance of racial and ethnic minority groups. In the case of a sudden wave of racial discrimination or exclusion from nonethnic institutions, Korean Americans may once again flock to the ethnic churches. On the other hand, Korean ethnic churches may themselves become multiethnic, following the model put forth by Mullins.

All of the above possibilities have already occurred. The future depends on the strategy that each church adopts and the unique environment in which it exists. The success of these strategies will determine the fate of each Korean American church.


NOTES
1.
The names of the town, churches, and leaders have been changed.
2.
PKC is a member of a national, main-line Protestant denomination. Although its denominational affiliation shapes many facets of the church, PKC's denomination has granted it a large degree of autonomy with respect to its English-language ministry. Because it essentially considers the English ministry to be a department of the church, much like a Sunday school, the denomination is more concerned with the running of the Korean-language ministry. I also found that denominational affiliation was not an important factor in members' decisions to join PKC, as long as it was Protestant. It is, however, an area of growing concern as the English ministry matures and

-323-

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Gatherings in Diaspora: Religious Communities and the New Immigration
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction 1
  • I- Religion and the Negotiation of Identities 35
  • Notes 65
  • Notes 67
  • 2- From the Rivers of Babylon to the Valleys of Los Angeles- The Exodus and Adaptation of Iranian Jews 71
  • Notes 90
  • Notes 92
  • II- Transnational Migrants and Religious Hosts 95
  • Notes 117
  • Notes 117
  • Notes 120
  • 4- The Madonna of 115th Street Revisited- Vodou and Haitian Catholicism in the Age of Transnationalism 123
  • Acknowledgments 155
  • Notes 155
  • Notes 157
  • III- Institutional Adaptations 161
  • References 195
  • References 195
  • 6- The House That Rasta Built- Church-Building and Fundamentalism among New York Rastafarians 197
  • Notes 228
  • Notes 228
  • 7- Structural Adaptations in an Immigrant Muslim Congregation in New York 235
  • Acknowledgments 258
  • Acknowledgments 259
  • Acknowledgments 259
  • IV- Internal Differentiation 263
  • 8- Caroling with the Keralites- The Negotiation of Gendered Space in an Indian Immigrant Church 265
  • Notes 291
  • References 293
  • 9- Competing for the Second Generation- English-Language Ministry at a Korean Protestant Church 295
  • References 323
  • References 328
  • 10- Tenacious Unity in a Contentious Community- Cultural and Religious Dynamics in a Chinese Christian Church 333
  • Notes 357
  • Notes 357
  • Notes 360
  • Conclusion 363
  • Acknowledgments 382
  • References 382
  • Project Director''s Acknowledgments 385
  • About the Contributors and Editors 389
  • Index 391
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