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Ecologies of Faith in New York City

The Evolution of Religious Institutions

Edited by Richard Cimino, Nadia A. Mian, and Weishan Huang. Foreword by Nancy T. Ammerman

Publication Year: 2012

Ecologies of Faith in New York City examines patterns of interreligious cooperation and conflict in New York City. It explores how representative congregations in this religiously diverse city interact with their surroundings by competing for members, seeking out niches, or cooperating via coalitions and neighborhood organizations. Based on in-depth research in New York's ethnically mixed and rapidly changing neighborhoods, the essays in the volume describe how religious institutions shape and are shaped by their environments, what new roles they have assumed, and how they relate to other religious groups in the community.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Series: Polis Center Series on Religion and Urban Culture

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. ix-xviii

After pioneering research by H. Paul Douglass in the 1920s and 1930s, the questions surrounding what congregations do and how they are related to the larger society faded from view for half a century...

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pp. xix-xxii

When we began working at the Ecologies of Learning (EOLEOL ) Project as research fellows, we had no idea that our academic endeavors would end with the publication of this book. Founded...

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Introduction: The Ecology of Religious Institutions in New York City

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pp. 1-22

On a cold, winter morning, West Park Presbyterian Church, on the corner of 86th and Amsterdam on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, finally re-opened its doors. As the church having been...


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1. Disneyfication and Religion in Times Square

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pp. 25-54

“Look, like it’s all about consumerism, everywhere I see. There isn’t much about the church here,” said Alban Boucher, a member of our research team, as he stood amidst the flashing video screens...

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2. Filling Niches and Pews in Williamsburg and Greenpoint: The Religious Ecology of Gentrification

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pp. 55-80

“Oh wow, wait a minute, this is weird,” shouted a twenty-something spectator to a friend on his cell phone as he watched the float of a Marian statue and a procession of priests, pilgrims, and a small brass band pass him on Graham Avenue. “It’s like a parade about our lady of caramel or something.”...

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3. Korean American Churches and the Negotiation of Space in Flushing, Queens

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pp. 81-102

Every day, New York City’s No. 7 train, also known as the Oriental Express, carries thousands of Asian Americans in and out of Flushing.1 Stepping out of Main Street Station, one faces a diversity of cultures and backgrounds, including the largest Chinatown on the East Coast...


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4. Diversity and Competition: Politics and Conflict in New Immigrant Communities

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pp. 105-119

Falun Gong (FLG) stepped onto the world stage with its sit-in demonstration in Beijing on April 25, 1999 – with more than 10,000 participants, the largest public protest in China since the Tiananmen Square...

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5. The Brazilianization of New York City: Brazilian Immigrants and Evangelical Churches in a Pluralized Urban Landscape

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pp. 120-141

In the last two decades, Brazilian immigrants and their evangelical churches have become more visible in the New York Metropolitan Area. Their congregations and small businesses have provoked important changes in several neighborhoods and in the larger pluralized ethnic...

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6. Building and Expanding Communities: African Immigrant Congregations and the Challenge of Diversity

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pp. 142-166

The importance of religious congregations in the life of immigrants has been well noted by many scholars (Herberg 1960; Williams 1988; Warner and Wittner 1998; Ebaugh and Chafetz 2000; Guest 2003). In addition...


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pp. 167-169

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7. Changing Lives One Scoop at a Time: The Creation of Alphabet Scoop on the Lower East Side

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pp. 169-197

It is a warm and sunny Sunday morning on East 11th Street, in what is known as “Alphabet City” (Pekarchik 2001) on New York’s Lower East Side.1 Sunlight gleams from the windows of the restored...

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8. Navigating Property Development through a Framework of Religious Ecology: The Case of Trinity Lutheran Church

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pp. 198-219

Walk through the streets of any city, and the spires, domes, and minarets of churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples are common indicators that distinguish houses of worship from any other building...

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9. Hinduism at Work in Queens

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pp. 220-240

How does a Trinidadian Hindu woman named Chan Jamoona – a nurse, mother of four, and caretaker for her mother – become one of the most important civic and religious leaders in Queens?...


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pp. 241-244


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pp. 245-248

E-ISBN-13: 9780253006943
E-ISBN-10: 0253006945
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253006844

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 11 b&w illus., 1 map
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Polis Center Series on Religion and Urban Culture