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City of GodsReligious Freedom, Immigration, and Pluralism in Flushing, Queens$
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R. Scott Hanson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823271597

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823271597.001.0001

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A Blessing and a Curse?

A Blessing and a Curse?

The Possibilities and Limits of Religious Pluralism

(p.151) 4 A Blessing and a Curse?
City of Gods

R. Scott Hanson

Fordham University Press

Chapter Four explores the issues raised in Flushing by a radically and rapidly changing religious, racial, and ethnic landscape during the 1980s and 1990s and what set of factors and zoning laws contributed to this transformation. It chronicles both the possibilities and limits of pluralism as the community ideology of religious freedom and toleration so celebrated in the 1940s–50s was tested to the breaking point when places of worship proliferated into a dense microcosm of world religions by 2000. Focusing on the levels and contexts of interaction between groups in modern Flushing, the narrative shifts into a more ethnographic mode and theoretical analysis of pluralism in Flushing. Referring back to examples of each group in the history of Flushing that make up the bulk of the preceding chapters illustrates the range of different responses to religious diversity from conflict to cooperation, mission work to multiethnic congregations and interfaith.

Keywords:   conflict, diversity, immigration, interfaith, missionaries, multiethnic congregations, pluralism, religion, zoning laws

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