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In later attempts to free themselves from the tie of the state governmental system imposed by the Church of England Anglican Church , such denominations as the Reformed-Presbyterian churches and the European Free Church were formed. Those religious parents gave birth to the next wave of Christian denominations. Reforms were brought by the Puritans to the American colonies. As later cries for reform and renewal took place, further splintering occurred among the Methodists , Pentecostals, Fundamentalists and Adventists, each bearing a diminished resemblance to their original parents.

Evangelical movement roots and branches. Evangelism has played an integral part in the history of religion in America, from colonial times to the present, while its methods of dissemination have changed dramatically. During the Great Awakening of the s, white Protestant evangelists proselytized to black Americans. During the 19th century, Methodists held camp meetings in the frontier states.

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Evangelism turned to elaborate crusades in the 20th century when such preachers as Billy Sunday attempted to convince nonbelievers that they should "jump ship" from their ancestral Christian denominations. Tent revivals, broadcast by radio and television, were dynamic with charismatic preachers who captured the attention of millions of people. While they were relegated to cable TV networks, evangelistic websites slowly began to crop up on the Internet during the early s.

Because of the anonymous nature of that interactive communication tool, people felt more comfortable sharing their personal beliefs and faith over the Internet with a large audience, or with one unknown person. Media evangelists incorporated multimedia presentations with sound, the written word, movies and video technologies.

Major Protestant denominations in the colonies. Although they crossed the Atlantic to be free of a state-sponsored religion, settlers' everyday lives were extensively shaped by their religious beliefs and practices. To prevent a return to a centralized, overbearing government, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution, without which ratification by Virginia and New York would not have occurred. To fully understand the impact of the spread of Christian denominations in America, it is important to look at them and their origins individually. Listed below is a brief summary of those denominations, beginning with a proto-denomination, the Puritans.

Puritans The Puritans came to the New England colonies to escape religious persecution. The Puritans later gave birth to the Baptists and the Congregationalists. Using the New Testament as their model, they believed that each congregation and each person individually was responsible to God. Their belief that their destiny was predetermined, their self-imposed isolation, and religious exclusivity, would later lead to witch hunts beginning in The expulsion of Roger Williams in and Anne Hutchinson in was caused by their neighbors' fear of "evil" in their midst.

The Puritans also were responsible for the first free schooling in America and established the first American college, Harvard College , in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Congregationalists Based on the Calvinist Reformed tradition and strictly opposed to external authorities, Congregationalists came to New England and established the Plymouth Colony in As part of the Separatist movement, Congregationalists broke from the Anglican Church and established independent congregations in which God was the absolute authority.

Prone to splintering, those congregations experienced a great number of local schisms during the first Great Awakening in the s. During the s, membership declined as their Methodist and Baptist cousins continued to gain strength. Unitarianism developed as an offshoot of COngregationalism, initially due to disagreement over the reality of the Trinity. Over the years, their resistance to dependence and external secular and clerical authority has lessened.

Many Congregationalist churches have subsequently merged with other churches from the Reformed tradition. Today their membership in the U. Methodists The tap root of Methodism was a group of Oxford University students, amongst whom were its founders, John and Charles Wesley. Asbury promoted circuit riding and thus increased American Methodism to , by the time of his death in One of the more liberal Christian denominations, the United Methodist Church has become the second-largest Protestant denomination in America with 8.

Lutherans In no other American Christian denomination did national origin play such an important role in its history as the Lutheran Church. The Lutherans settled on the East Coast and American Midwest, and celebrated worship services in their native tongues.

From their first foothold in , Lutherans began to establish a sum total of synods. In the late 19th century, they began to merge as the Americanization process eliminated the language barriers that had previously kept them separate. After many previous mergers, three of the larger Lutheran bodies came together in to become the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ELCA , which currently counts more than half of the Lutheran membership in the U.

A more conservative branch is the Missouri Synod. Presbyterians Bearing little resemblance to the liturgy, structure, and tradition associated with the Roman Catholic Church, the Presbyterian and Reformed churches share a common origin in the teachings of John Calvin and the 16th century Swiss Reformation.

By definition, the Presbyterian denomination is anchored in an active, representational leadership style for both ministers and lay members. Presbyterians mostly came from England, Scotland, and Ireland. William Penn , whose writings about freedom of conscience while imprisoned in England formed the basis of religious understanding for Quakers around the world. Penn established what would later be called Pennsylvania , an American religious sanctuary in the late 17th century. He believed in religious toleration, fair trade with Native Americans, and equal rights for women.

In the wake of the massive immigration of the past few decades, a growing social science literature has emerged to chart the experiences and impact of America's latest wave of newcomers and — across the Atlantic — of those in Europe as well. In the United States, the study of religion among the latest newcomers has generally taken a backseat to other topics in the immigration field. Issues pertaining to economic and labor market incorporation, residential patterns, education, social mobility and the trajectories of the second generation, race and ethnicity, transnational ties, and citizenship and political incorporation have received much more attention than religion.

This is, perhaps, not surprising. Many social science researchers rely on US Census data and other surveys conducted by government agencies, which are not allowed to ask questions on religion. But it is more than this. Religion has often been overlooked because it is not seen as a problematic area for immigrants in the contemporary United States.

Indeed, those studies that do focus on religion among today's immigrants overwhelmingly emphasize its positive role in smoothing and facilitating the adaptation process. The contrast with studies of immigrants in Western Europe could not be more striking. There, religion is at the top of the scholarly agenda, with the extensive literature overwhelmingly concerned with the Islamic presence.

In contrast to the view in the United States, religion is seen in Europe as the marker of a fundamental social divide. We argue that the difference is anchored in whether or not religion as belief system, institution, and community can play a major role for immigrants and the second generation as a bridge to inclusion in the new society.

This question has a different answer in the two settings for three critical reasons. The religious backgrounds of immigrants in Western Europe and the United States are different, mostly Christian in the United States as compared to Western Europe, where a large proportion are Muslim. Western European populations, moreover, have much more trouble recognizing claims based on religion because they are more secular than the religiously involved United States. Furthermore, historically rooted relations and arrangements between the state and religious groups in Europe have led to greater difficulties in incorporating and accepting new religions than is the case in the United States.

What follows develops these ideas, first laying out the different views of immigrant religion in social science studies on the two sides of the Atlantic and then seeking to account for them. If the bulk of the article shows a far more favorable environment for immigrant religion in the United States than Western Europe, the concluding remarks consider, on the one hand, the threats in the United States to the generally positive picture and, on the other hand, government efforts at accommodating Islam in Western Europe.

Much of what we say applies to Western European countries generally, but we mainly focus on four major receiving countries that represent different institutional approaches to religion: France, Germany, Britain, and the Netherlands. What stands out in the American social science literature is the positive gloss on religion's role among today's newcomers, with studies often emphasizing how religion promotes the incorporation of newcomers into their new society and helps them, in a variety of ways, to cope and adapt.

In addition, the literature stresses the functionality of religion in meeting the social needs of immigrants; to borrow Charles Hirschman 's formula, these are first and foremost the three R's: refuge, respectability, and resources For immigrants who are separated from their homeland and from many relatives, religious membership offers a refuge in the sense that it creates a sense of belonging and participation in the face of loss and the strains of adjustment Hirschman, Churches and temples offer opportunities for fellowship and friendship, often in a familiar cultural environment, and are a source of solace and shelter from the stresses, setbacks, and difficulties of coming to terms with life in a new country Ebaugh and Chafetz, ; Min, ; Portes and Rumbaut, , It is frequently noted that religious groups provide an alternative source of respectability for newcomers, something that is particularly important for those who feel they are denied social recognition in the United States or have even suffered downward occupational mobility as a result of migration.

Being a good Christian, Muslim, or Buddhist brings respect within the religious and often wider ethnic community. Within religious groups, there are typically opportunities for leadership and service that bring prestige.

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Sociologists put particular emphasis on the resources that come with religious affiliation and membership. As Hirschman notes, almost all studies of contemporary immigrant churches and temples in the United States describe the multiple services they provide to newcomers, from information about jobs, housing, and business opportunities to classes in English and seminars on various practical topics.

Thus, the financial manager of a Buddhist temple catering to the Lao community in Louisiana, who is also a foreman at a firm, refers temple members for jobs; another member of the temple community provides assistance for housing through her position as a loan officer in a local bank Hirschman, Religion has been analyzed as a socially acceptable form through which U.

The intertwining of religion and ethnic identity often assists incorporation into American society. According to a recent study of immigrant religious communities in the Washington, DC area, those that emphasized ethnic identity — sponsoring events to celebrate their own ethnic or national heritage, for example, or holding classes in the home language — were more likely to participate in local affairs and social service or community development projects in the United States Foley and Hoge, — There are two additional positive aspects of religion for immigrants and their children that appear in the US social science literature.

For one thing, religious organizations can facilitate the upward mobility of the second generation.

2. It sharpened the divide between the North and South over slavery.

Many congregations also sponsor classes that inculcate homeland cultural traditions and language skills. From a mobility perspective, as David Lopez forthcoming has argued, they encourage and reinforce habits of study. Moreover, they do so in a setting that is controlled within the ethnic community — rather than provided by benevolent outsiders — thereby reinforcing a sense of identity and cultural pride and perhaps also adding to their effectiveness.

Min Zhou and Carl Bankston stress that involvement in ethnic religious congregations helps young people move ahead in another way. And then there is the role of immigrant religious groups as a training ground for entry into the wider society: building civic skills and encouraging active civic involvement. Religious communities, she maintains, are.


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Long before they stand for election to the school board, they will stand for election in the governing body of the Hindu temple. Long before they enter the fray of local and state politics, they argue fiercely about their internal Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim politics. Eck, The religious groups often sponsored citizenship classes and programs to register people to vote and organized efforts to lobby elected officials. And many mosques and churches encouraged volunteer services to the larger community, beyond their own religious group, from volunteering at senior citizen centers to serving food in soup kitchens.

Many scholars stress that religion provides a way for immigrants to become accepted in the United States — or, to put it another way, religious institutions are places where immigrants can formulate claims for inclusion in American society Portes and Rumbaut, ; Alba, Roboteau and DeWind, forthcoming. This argument dates back to what are now regarded as classic historical studies of immigrant religious life, primary among them Will Herberg's Protestant, Catholic, Jew.

To be sure, one way this Americanization happens is by conversion to Christianity because of its charter status in American society. For instance, the proportion of Christians among Asian immigrants to the United States is generally much higher than is the case in their countries of origin. To some extent, this may be the result of selective immigration by those who were already Christian in the homeland.

But there can be little doubt that, for other immigrants, the move to America involves conversion to Christianity. This phenomenon in exemplified by the Taiwanese. Whereas in Taiwan some 2 percent of the population is Christian, this is true for a quarter to a third of the Taiwanese population in the United States. Yet as far as anyone can tell, the immigrant religions that are relatively new to the United States, such as Buddhism and Sikhism, have many of the same integrative effects as the Christian denominations do.

In their case, asserting a religious identity is seen as an acceptable way to be different and American at the same time Levitt, In line with a change to congregationalism, to give one example, a Buddhist monk may assume a more specialized and professional role closer to that of a minister. In addition, many studies point to the way immigrant religious groups adopt American forms and practices — for instance, using the English language, holding weekly services, or having a sermon as the focal point of the service Hirschman, —; see also George, ; Hepner, Certainly, the mainstream of American society had a decidedly Christian, even Protestant, character for much of the country's history.

The full acceptance of Catholicism and Judaism as American religions was not accomplished until the middle of the twentieth century — around the time that Herberg wrote his famous synthesis. Yet, what was not in doubt was the ability of these previously minority religions to form their own institutions, without much interference from the outside society. That Catholics could erect a separate school system, and eventually a panoply of organizations to channel their social and professional lives within a religiously circumscribed subsociety, was not in question. Nor was Catholicism in this respect at a disadvantage compared to Protestant churches, for, aside from temporary holdovers from the established churches of the thirteen colonies, no denomination enjoyed state support.

In this sense, we will argue below, there is a distinctively US pattern implicated in the contemporary bridging role of immigrant religion. In Western Europe, religion is generally viewed as the problem, not the solution, for immigrant minorities. The focus of scholarly commentaries on immigrant religion is almost exclusively on Islam. Far from being seen as integrating immigrants and facilitating successful adaptation to European society, Islam is analyzed as a barrier or a challenge to integration and a source of conflict with mainstream institutions and practices.

Popular attitudes toward Islam have helped to shape the social science literature. Many social scientists have documented actual practices and beliefs among Muslim immigrants and their children, often as a way to counter negative stereotypes and prejudices about these practices and beliefs; others have attempted to explain the animosities and conflicts that have developed; and still others have offered, on the bases of their analyses, policy recommendations for improving relations and reducing strains or, in some cases, preserving what are felt to be basic universal, European, or national values that are seen to be in danger e.

Even analyses of the Europeanization of Islam and of positive signs of Muslim integration and accommodation are often placed in the context of prevailing popular views that deny, ignore, or downplay these developments e.


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A lot of attention is dedicated to such themes as gender relations including headscarves , freedom of speech including the Rushdie affair, Muslim radicalism and so forth and the compatibility of Islam and modernity. Since the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, the United States and Western Europe's paths to modernity have diverged sharply with respect to religion.

In short, Americans have maintained much friendlier ties with traditional forms of religion than their European counterparts. What explains this transatlantic religious divide? Accessing the topic though nineteenth and early twentieth-century European commentary on the United States, Thomas Albert Howard argues that an 'Atlantic gap' in religious matters has deep and complex historical roots, and enduringly informs some strands of European disapprobation of the United States. While exploring in the first chapters 'Old World' disquiet toward the young republic's religious dynamics, the book turns in the final chapters and focuses on more constructive European assessments of the United States.

Acknowledging the importance of Alexis de Tocqueville for the topic, Howard argues that a widespread overreliance on Tocqueville as interpreter of America has had a tendency to overshadow other noteworthy European voices. Two underappreciated figures here receive due attention: the Protestant Swiss-German church historian, Philip Schaff, and the French Catholic philosopher, Jacques Maritain.

While the transatlantic religious divide has received commentary from journalists and sociologists in recent decades, this is the first major work of cultural and intellectual history devoted to the subject. Acclaimed by senior scholars in the field, and deservedly so Intelligent and wide-ranging in scope, yet closely reasoned and elegantly written, this volume will find a home on the shelves of scholars in several disciplines, among them reliion, history, and the social sciences.

Howard mananges to stand in the ranks of cultural commentators like Jean Baudrillard. Convert currency. Add to Basket. Compare all 13 new copies. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. New and unread book Synopsis: Since the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, the United States and Western Europe's paths to modernity have diverged sharply with respect to religion. Seller Inventory ABE More information about this seller Contact this seller.

Language: English. Brand new Book.