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The Catholic Studies Reader$
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James T. Fisher and Margaret M. McGuinness

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823234103

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823234103.001.0001

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Asian American Catholic Experience and Catholic Studies

Asian American Catholic Experience and Catholic Studies

(p.282) 13 Asian American Catholic Experience and Catholic Studies
The Catholic Studies Reader



Fordham University Press

Immigrants and refugees have contributed not only to the identity of American religions, but also, and especially, to Catholicism in the United States. An examination of how Asian Americans are considered generally in American religious histories reveals a relative neglect of their experiences. This chapter shows that the presence of Asian American Catholic communities radically unsettles standard narratives of Catholic history in America while shifting the contexts informing discussions of the contemporary Catholic Church. Scholars in U.S. religious studies often discount Asian American Catholics, owing to a habitual if not exclusive focus in the religious studies academy on non-Christian Asian traditions. This chapter offers a highly compelling case for Catholic Studies engaged on two fronts simultaneously: alerting Euro-American Catholics to the salience of ethnicity in Asian American religious life while highlighting the religious identity of Asian American Catholics lest it remain overlooked in religious studies scholarship.

Keywords:   Catholicism, Asian Americans, Catholics, Catholic Studies, ethnicity, religious life, religious identity, Catholic Church, immigrants, refugees

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