One Family Under God: Immigration Politics and Progressive Religion in America

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9780199988679: One Family Under God: Immigration Politics and Progressive Religion in America

Behind the walls of a church, Liliana and her baby eat, sleep, and wait. Outside, protestors shout "Go back to Mexico!" and "Even heaven has a gate!" They demand that the U.S. government deport Liliana, which would separate her from her husband and children. Who is Liliana? A criminal? A hero? And why does the church protect her?

In One Family Under God, Grace Yukich draws on extensive field observation and interviews to reveal how immigration is changing religious activism in the U.S. In the face of nationwide immigration raids and public hostility toward "illegal" immigration, the New Sanctuary Movement emerged in 2007 as a religious force seeking to humanize the image of undocumented immigrants. Building coalitions between religious and ethnic groups that had rarely worked together in the past, activists revived and adapted sanctuary, the tradition of providing shelter for fugitives in houses of worship. Through sanctuary, they called on Americans to support legislation that would keep immigrant families together. But they sought more than political change: they also pursued religious transformation, challenging the religious nationalism in America's faith communities by portraying undocumented immigrants as fellow children of God. Yukich shows progressive religious activists struggling with the competing goals of newly diverse coalitions, fighting to expand the meaning of "family values" in a diversifying nation. Through these struggles, the activists are both challenging the public dominance of the religious right and creating conflicts that could doom their chances of impacting immigration reform.

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About the Author:


Grace Yukich is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Quinnipiac University.

Review:


"This book is an obvious choice for graduate-level courses in social movements, culture, religion, and organizations and would also be an excellent text for related upper-level undergraduate courses."--American Journal of Sociology


"[A] timely and highly readable book...it is hard to find much to criticize in this volume...It will likely become the standard work on the New Sanctuary Movement."--Sociology of Religion


"A timely and important contribution...an ideal text for use in undergraduate and graduate courses."--Mobilization


"Fascinating and well-documented One Family Under God is a fine book that effectively details the origins and early years of the New Sanctuary movement." --Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion


"Grace Yukich points to patterns and trends as she explains tensions and controversies woven into factual narratives of anguish, intolerance, and transformation. Her inquiry should motivate any whose faith makes this daring demand: Partners with the oppressed, respect people you disagree with, and treat strangers as family, under God." --Liguorian


"The rich narrative examines the influence of religion on a multitarget social movement and provides new insights into the interplay of religion, activism, and immigration policies. Summing Up: Recommended." --CHOICE


"While the nation's politicians have been incapable of resolving the question of how to deal with eleven million undocumented immigrants, the New Sanctuary Movement has quietly been working to keep immigration officials from tearing families apart. One Family Under God chronicles this heart-moving story, showing not only how congregations became involved but also how they were transformed in the process." --Robert Wuthnow, author of America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity


"The basic Christian principles that have theologically grounded the religious system in the United States and the political rationale that has allowed for current measures taken against immigrants inform Grace Yukich's book, One Family under God: Immigration Politics and
Progressive Religion in America, and make it a good read and useful addition to the literature on immigration, religion, and politics... The integration of religion and politics in accounts of movements like the NSM permits scholarly inquiry into these areas to become wider in scope and further able to address the diversity of political and social movements. Yukich captures this importance in this timely book." --Politics and Religion


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