The Introduction orients the reader to the neighborhood of Flushing and presents the main themes and argument of the book in addition to relevant theoretical, historiographical, and methodological questions and a chapter outline. St. Augustine’s City of God is recycled in the title and Introduction to draw attention to religious pluralism as a theological, political and social issue, and a question that theologian John Courtney Murray, S.J., asked in 1960 is revisited as the central question of the book: How much pluralism, and what kinds of pluralism, can a pluralist society stand? While the book traces the often overlooked colonial history of Flushing to frame it within a discussion of religious freedom, the focus is primarily on Flushing since World War II and the Immigration Act of 1965—when it would become perhaps the most religiously diverse neighborhood in the history of the world.
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