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The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History$
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Paul Harvey and Edward Blum

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231140201

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231140201.001.0001

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Religion, Ethnicity, and the Immigrant Experience

Religion, Ethnicity, and the Immigrant Experience

(p.236) 11. Religion, Ethnicity, and the Immigrant Experience
The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History

Roberto R. Treviño

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the complex and often interrelated nature of religion, ethnicity, and immigration and their role in American history. Seeking to understand some fundamental aspects of the immigrant experience, historians of religion have probed the range of U.S. faith traditions—with their sometimes contradictory claims and myriad institutional forms and movements—and asked such questions as: How have religion and ethnicity helped immigrants endure the hostilities they encounter as outsiders in a new land? How have religion and ethnicity functioned in reconstituting a sense of identity and community among immigrants? And how have religion and ethnicity steeled immigrants against oppression? This chapter also discusses the globalization of American religious communities as well as the history of insularity and homogeneity emanating both from nativists and from within embattled immigrant communities. Finally, it explores how the long history of intolerance of immigrant ethnicities and religions could not forestall the eventual development of a national identity defined by diversity and pluralism.

Keywords:   religion, ethnicity, immigration, American history, immigrants, globalization, intolerance, national identity, diversity, pluralism

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