Monday, January 23, 2012

ONE WORD 365 // Week 1, Book 1

Ok, I'm finally getting around to writing down my thoughts about the first book in my quest to read one book per week in 2012.

Parade of Faiths: Immigration and American Religion
by Jenna Weissman Joselit
New York: Oxford University Press, 2001

I found this book at Brattle Book Shop while in Boston for New Year's. It was too cold to scour through all the books outside -- and too close to closing time. I'll need a return visit for that.

It was a quick read; I started and finished it on the plane rides home to Nashville.

The book has a simple outline and premise -- how immigrants and their faiths arrived and planted themselves in America. It devotes full chapters to Protestant, Catholic and Jewish immigration and lumps all remaining religions in one chapter. The first three chapters were good and gave good insight into the Judeo-Christian background of much of America. I was most interested in the more recent immigration experiences of the Chinese and Japanese, the Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims, but all of that information was crammed into the last chapter.

This book is a basic starting point for anyone researching faith and immigration in America. The stories are interesting, though pretty basic and taken from other historic accounts. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in studying faith in America and immigration as a starting point. It won't take long to read and I'll loan you my copy if you're interested.

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