Ecologies of Faith in New York City

Ecologies of Faith in New York City

The Evolution of Religious Institutions
Edited by Richard Cimino, Nadia A. Mian, and Weishan Huang
Foreword by Nancy T. Ammerman
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/28/2012
ISBN: 978-0-253-00694-3
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Ecologies of Faith in New York City examines patterns of interreligious cooperation and conflict in New York City. It explores how representative congregations in this religiously diverse city interact with their surroundings by competing for members, seeking out niches, or cooperating via coalitions and neighborhood organizations. Based on in-depth research in New York’s ethnically mixed and rapidly changing neighborhoods, the essays in the volume describe how religious institutions shape and are shaped by their environments, what new roles they have assumed, and how they relate to other religious groups in the community.

Author Bio

Richard Cimino is adjunct professor in Sociology at Hofstra University. He is author of Trusting the Spirit and (with Don Lattin) Shopping for Faith: American Religion in the New Millennium, and editor of Religion Watch.

Nadia A. Mian is adjunct professor at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Weishan Huang is a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen, Germany.


"The book deals with important issues in important ways. New York City is a veritable center of the phenomena being studied." —Jay Demerath, University of Massachusetts

"A great resource for students in congregational, religious, and urban studies [and] a valuable installment in the resurrection of urban religious ecology." —Omar McRoberts, University of Chicago

"[T]his book offers nine essays focusing on religious institutions of New York City as they have been impacted by the social dynamics of gentrification, immigration, and entrepreneurial innovation . . . Recommended." —

"[This book] is largely the result of research from the Ecologies of Learning Project, founded by urban religion scholar Lowell Livezey, who led the way in studying how congregations are affected by neighborhood change, yet also exercise a degree of agency in these urban processes." —Religion Watch

"[This book is] a solid resource for addressing entanglements of religion and urbanism. The case studies have significant richness, and the organizing decision to focus on three structural processes is effective. Scholars in congregational studies, the sociology of religion, and the inter-disciplinary study of urbanism will find value in the empirical and analytical observations" —Critical Research on Religion

"Overall, this is a well-developed collection of essays that does an effective job of exploring the breadth of the ecological interaction between religious institutions and their environments in New York City. . . . [T]he editors delineate a careful study of religious institutions within a contested environment, an outstanding contribution that will be used for many years as a reference for students and scholars interested in religious institutions in an urban context." —Sociology of Religion

"With the tremendous variety of religious groups and religious places in the New York Metropolitan Area, this book is an excellent example of religious scholarship that could be further expanded and explored." —Review of Religious Research

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Table of Contents

Foreword \ Nancy T. Ammerman

Introduction: The Ecology of Religious Institutions in New York City \ Richard Cimino and Nadia A. Mian, with Weishan Huang

Part 1. Religious Institutions and Gentrification in the Religious Ecology
1. Disneyfication and Religion in Times Square \ Hans E. Tokke
2. Filling Niches and Pews in Williamsburg and Greenpoint: The Religious Ecology of Gentrification \ Richard Cimino
3. Korean American Churches and the Negotiation of Space in Flushing, Queens \ Keun-Joo Christine Pae

Part 2. Immigration, Religion, and Neighborhood Change
4. Diversity and Competition: Politics and Conflict in New Immigrant Communities \ Weishan Huang
5. The Brazilianization of New York City: Brazilian Immigrants and Evangelical Churches in a Pluralized Urban Landscape \ Donizete Rodrigues
6. Building and Expanding Communities: African Immigrant Congregations and the Challenge of Diversity \ Moses Biney

Part 3. Entrepreneurial Innovation and Religious Institutions
7. Changing Lives One Scoop at a Time: The Creation of Alphabet Scoop on the Lower East Side \ Sheila P. Johnson
8. Navigating Property Development through a Framework of Religious Ecology: The Case of Trinity Lutheran Church \ Nadia A. Mian
9. Hinduism at Work in Queens \ Matthew Weiner