Cover image for Gatherings in diaspora : religious communities and the new immigration
Gatherings in diaspora : religious communities and the new immigration
Warner, R. Stephen.
Publication Information:
Philadelphia, PA : Temple University Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
409 pages ; 24 cm
Becoming American by becoming Hindu: Indian Americans take their place at the multicultural table -- From the rivers of Babylon to the valleys of Los Angeles: the exodus and adaptation of Iranian Jews -- Santa Eulalia's people in exile: Maya religion, culture, and identity in Los Angeles -- The Madonna of 115th street revisited: Vodou and Haitian Catholicism in the age of transnationalism -- Born again in East LA: the congregation as border space -- The house that Rasta built: church-building and fundamentalism among New York Rastafarians -- Structural adaptations in an immigrant Muslim congregation in New York -- Caroling with the Keralites: the negotiation of gendered space in an Indian immigrant church -- Competing for the second generation: English-language ministry at a Korean Protestant church -- Tenacious unity in a contentious community: cultural and religious dynamics in a Chinese Christian church.
Reading Level:
1410 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL632.5.U5 G37 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Gatherings in Diaspora brings together the latest chapters in the long-running chronicle of religion and immigration in the American experience. Today, as in the past, people migrating to the United States bring their religions with them, and their religious identities often mean more to them away from home, in their diaspora, than they did before.

This book explores and analyzes the diverse religious communities of post-1965 diasporas: Christians, Hews, Muslims, Hindus, Rastafarians, and practitioners of Vodou, from countries such as China, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Iran, Jamaica, Korea, and Mexico. The contributors explore how, to a greater or lesser extent, immigrants and their offspring adapt their religious institutions to American conditions, often interacting with religious communities already established. The religious institutions they build, adapt, remodel, and adopt become worlds unto themselves, congregations, where new relations are forged within the community -- between men and women, parents and children, recent arrival and those longer settled.

Author Notes

R. Stephan Warner, Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is the author of New Wine in Old Wineskins: Evangelicals and Liberals in a Small-Town Church .

Judith G. Wittner is Associate Professor of Sociology and former Director of Women's Studies at Loyola University of Chicago.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Gatherings in Diaspora represents the best collection of ethnographic studies of the newest immigrants to the United States and the religious communities they formed that this reviewer has seen. The studies were done by graduate and postdoctoral students selected to participate in a seminar of the New Ethnic and Immigrant Congregations Project led by sociologists Warner (Univ. of Illinois at Chicago) and Wittner (Loyola of Chicago). The goal of the project was to do in-depth studies of new immigrants and the diverse religious communities of post-1965 diasporas; these include Iranian Jews, Hindu Americans, Rastafarians, practitioners of Mayan and Voudun Catholicism, Latino Pentecostalists, Yemeni Muslims, Indian Keralites, and Korean and Chinese Christians. With a focus on individual congregations, one of the strengths of the studies is their excellent "thick descriptions" of these religious congregations and their practices. They contribute to new perceptions of how the immigrants attempt to both assimilate into American culture and at the same time preserve their own cultural heritage and identity. Warner and Wittner provide fine introductory and concluding essays. Their book is highly recommended for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and specialists in the field of American religion. L. H. Mamiya; Vassar College

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
I Religion and the Negotiation of Identitiesp. 35
Notesp. 65
Notesp. 67
2 from the Rivers of Babylon to the Valleys of Los Angeles: the Exodus and Adaptation of Iranian Jewsp. 71
Notesp. 90
Notesp. 92
Ii Transnational Migrants and Religious Hostsp. 95
Notesp. 117
Notesp. 117
Notesp. 120
4 the Madonna of 115th Street Revisited: Vodou and Haitian Catholicism in the Age of Transnationalismp. 123
Acknowledgmentsp. 155
Notesp. 155
Notesp. 157
Iii Institutional Adaptationsp. 161
Referencesp. 195
Referencesp. 195
6 the House That Rasta Built: Church-Building and Fundamentalism Among New York Rastafariansp. 197
Notesp. 228
Notesp. 228
7 Structural Adaptations in An Immigrant Muslim Congregation in New Yorkp. 235
Acknowledgmentsp. 258
Acknowledgmentsp. 259
Acknowledgmentsp. 259
Iv Internal Differentiationp. 263
8 Caroling with the Keralites: the Negotiation of Gendered Space in An Indian Immigrant Churchp. 265
Notesp. 291
Referencesp. 293
9 Competing for the Second Generation: English-Language Ministry at A Korean Protestant Churchp. 295
Referencesp. 323
Referencesp. 328
10 Tenacious Unity in A Contentious Community: Cultural and Religious Dynamics in A Chinese Christian Churchp. 333
Notesp. 357
Notesp. 357
Notesp. 360
Conclusionp. 363
Acknowledgmentsp. 382
Referencesp. 382
Project Director's Acknowledgmentsp. 385
About the Contributors and Editorsp. 389
Indexp. 391