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Religion and Immigration: Migrant Faiths in North America and Western Europe




Religion and Immigration: Migrant Faiths in North America and Western Europe

Peter Kivisto

ISBN: 978-0-745-64170-6 September 2014 Polity 224 Pages


This concise book provides readers with a comprehensive overview and critical assessment of the key issues and varied strands of research relating to immigration and religion that have been produced during the past two decades.

Religion, once a neglected topic in migration studies, is today seen as a crucially important aspect of the immigrant experience. For some - particularly those focusing on religion in North America - religion has been portrayed as a vital resource for many immigrants engaged in the essential identity work required in adjusting to the receiving society. For others - particularly those who have focused on Muslim immigrants in Western Europe - religion tends to be depicted as a source of conflict rather than one of comfort and consolation. 

In a judicious, engaging, and highly readable account, this book sorts through these contrasting viewpoints, pointing to an approach that will assist upper-level students and scholars alike in putting these competing analyses into perspective. 

Chapter 1: Introduction: Religion on the Move
Chapter 2: Immigrant Identity Work and Religion
Chapter 3: Reframing Religious Organizations and Practices
Chapter 4: Immigrants and Transnational Religious Networks
Chapter 5: Church-State Relations and the Public Sphere
Chapter 6: Epilogue

"Mostly centred on the US, Religion and Immigration offers sobering and clear analysis grounded in solid research on an often impassioned, and ill-informed, debate."

"This book is an excellent, readable guide to the changing contours of religion, migration, and the relationship between the two. Kivisto's account is thorough, thoughtful, and thought-provoking – a great synthesis of past thinking and a smart roadmap for important directions forward."
Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College and Harvard University

"Grounded in the author's mastery of the history and sociology of immigration, Religion and Immigration is an up-to-date, jargon-free and level-headed overview of key changes in today’s society. Highly recommended for advanced undergraduates and scholars, as well as the citizen who wishes to stay well informed."
R. Stephen Warner, University of Illinois at Chicago