Crossing the Ethnic Divide

Crossing the Ethnic Divide : The Multiethnic Church on a Mission

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It is commonly accepted that the way to build church growth is to target specific ethnic or racial groups. People prefer to worship with their own, the theory goes, and if growth is what you want you have to accept that fact. In this book Kathleen Garces-Foley challenges the accepted wisdom and puts forth an alternative hypothesis about the role of a multi-cultural ideology in integrating a range of ethnic and generational groups. Through the story of one Asian-American-led multiethnic congregation in Southern California, Evergreen Baptist Church, she seeks to understand how the multiethnic church works as a new and unique social more

Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 157.5 x 238.8 x 20.3mm | 430.92g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195311086
  • 9780195311082

Review quote

The book simply and honestly tells it as it is. It carefully details the realities, complexities, and difficulties of pursuing a genuinely multiethnic congregation. * Contemporary Sociology * Crossing the Ethnic Divide is a significant addition to the growing literature on race and religion. ...It is useful for courses in Asian American Studies, religious studies, adn teh sociology of religion, and in seminaries as well. * Journal of American Ethnic History * In this rich ethnography, Kathleen Garces-Foley takes us inside a multiethnic congregation of young urban evangelicals in Los Angeles. Here, she explores in depth the challenges this new style of congregation faces as it both affirms diversity and seeks to build a shared community. An excellent read, of benefit to scholars and religious leaders alike. * Wade Clark Roof, Professor of Religious Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara * Combining a thorough survey of up-to-date knowledge on multiethnic churches and her own fieldwork, Garces-Foley offers an insightful and wide-ranging assessment of today's attempts to create inclusive, ethnically diverse communities of faith. Through the trials and successes of one multiethnic church, Garces-Foley not only affirms the desire to achieve racial diversity but also reveals the strains of achieving an ethnically inclusive community that simultaneously affirms the ethnic identity of all members. Through this one church, Crossing the Ethnic Divide artfully explores strategies of ethnic inclusion and the variable salience of ethnic identity within church cultures. * Gerardo Marti, author of A Mosaic of Believers: Diversity and Innovation in a Multiethnic Church * Ethnography has the potential to reformulate our understanding of the world by presenting located, contextual sociological truths that can lead to the transformation of scholarship. Kathleen Garces-Foley gets it right. She has chosen a location that highlights the important features of 21st century American Christianity and she renders an account that shows why and how multi-ethnic congregations are transformative of the landscape of American religion and, potentially, for the cultural repertoire through which we encounter racial diversity. Well-written and accessible, this book deserves a wide audience in the academy and outside of it, and should be read by anyone who cares about the potential of religious institutions to become arenas that foster tolerance, caring, equality, and the spanning of traditional lines of social division. * Penny Edgell, author of Congregations in Conflict and Religion and Family in a Changing Society. *show more

About Kathleen Garces-Foley

Kathleen Garces-Foley is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Marymount University specializing in contemporary American religious life. In addition to research on the growth of multiethnic churches, she studies immigrant religious communities and American death practices and is the editor of Death and Religion in a Changing more

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