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Since 1965 the Korean American population has grown to over one million people. These Korean Americans, including immigrants and their offspring, have founded thousands of Christian congregations and scores of Buddhist temples in the United States. In fact, their religious presence is perhaps the most distinctive contribution of Korean Americans to multicultural diversity in the United States. Korean Americans and Their Religions takes the first sustained look at this new component of the American religious mosaic.
The fifteen chapters focus on cultural, racial, gender, and generational factors and are noteworthy for the attention they give to both Christian and Buddhist traditions and to both first– and second-generation experiences. The editors and contributors represent the fields of sociology, psychology, theology, and religious ministry and themselves embody the diversities underlying the Korean American religious experience: they are Korean immigrants who are leaders in their fields and second-generation Korean Americans beginning their careers as well as leaders of both Christian and Buddhist communities. Among them are sympathetically analytical outside observers.
Korean Americans and Their Religions is a welcome addition to the emerging literature in the sociology of "new immigrant" religious communities, and it provides the fullest portrait yet of the Korean religious experience in America.
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Ho-Youn Kwon is Executive Director for the Center for Korean Studies and Associate Professor of Sociology at North Park University. Kwang Chung Kim is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Western Illinois University. R. Stephen Warner is Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois, Chicago.Review:
“This is one of the most significant books to examine the role of religious congregations in the lives of post-1965 immigrants in American society. To my knowledge, no book has provided such a comprehensive treatment of the religious experiences of one immigrant/ethnic group.”
—Pyong Gap Min, Queens College, CUNY
“This volume is a valuable resource for anyone interested in American immigrant religions in general and Korean-American immigrant religion in particular. In terms of the Korean-American community, the collection is particularly useful because it deals not only with Protestantism but with Buddhism as well. . . . The research presented in this volume makes important contributions to the study of immigrant religions and offers a valuable source of knowledge for anyone interested in the field of American religion.”
—Kelly H. Chong, American Journal of Sociology
“This is the most significant book to examine Korean immigrants’ religious practices and one of the most important books to examine the role of religious congregations in the lives of post-1965 immigrants in American society.”
—Pyong Gap Min, Contemporary Sociology
“This is a timely as well as significant book.”
—Timothy S. Lee, Journal of Religion
“Korean Americans and Their Religions makes an invaluable contribution to the study of the contextual variations in the structure and functions of religion among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States.”
—Won Moo Hurh, Princeton Seminary Bulletin
“The studies are presented in a scholarly fashion and offer the reader many valuable insights which can be applied to many modern immigrant populations as well a providing a perspective on the specifically Korean American religious experience.”
—H. L. Lemoncelli, Bibliographia Missionaria
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