By Diana L. Eck
Why figuring out America's non secular panorama Is crucial problem dealing with Us this day The Nineties observed the U.S. military fee its first Muslim chaplain and open its first mosque.There are shortly greater than 300 temples in la, domestic to the best number of Buddhists within the world.There are extra American Muslims than there are American Episcopalians, Jews, or Presbyterians.
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Extra resources for A New Religious America: How a ''Christian Country'' Has Become the World's Most Religiously Diverse Nation
Adherents of other faiths are no longer distant metaphorical neighbors in some other part of the world but next-door neighbors. A block down the street from a United Church of Christ congregation in Garden Grove, California, is the Lien Hoa Buddhist temple, the home of several Vietnamese Buddhist monks. Next door to the Atonement Lutheran Church in San Diego is San Diego’s largest Islamic Center. In Flushing, New York, a synagogue stands next door to a storefront Sikh gurdwara, across the street from Swaminarayan Hindu temple, and down the street from the Ganesha Hindu Temple.
The 1980s and 1990s, however, saw a crescendo of construction. Dozens of new mosques were built, such as the mosque on 96th Street and Third Avenue in New York, the Bridgeview and Villa Park mosques in Chicago, or the Southwest Zone mosque in Houston, to name but a few. There are now multimillion-dollar Hindu temples, like the Bharatiya Temple in the wealthy northern suburbs of Detroit and the spectacular Sri Meenakshi Temple rising from the flats south of Houston. The Buddhists have also made a striking architectural imprint, with the huge Hsi Lai temple in Hacienda Heights, California, a construction project resisted at every step by the community and now so beautiful that “temple view” real estate is coveted—and expensive.
Didn’t these also belong in a course on American religion? Other colleagues were on the front lines of the developing fields of multicultural studies or ethnic studies. Reading their works, I was astonished to find a strong normative, ideological secularism that seemed studiously to avoid thinking about religion at all. For them, the religious traditions of America’s ethnic minorities were simply not on the screen. Their lively discussions of Asian immigrants, for example, proceeded as if Asian Americans had no religious lives, built no religious institutions, gathered in no religious communities.
A New Religious America: How a ''Christian Country'' Has Become the World's Most Religiously Diverse Nation by Diana L. Eck
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