ReligionaEURO"both personal faith and institutional traditionaEURO"plays a central role in the lives of the 12.5 million Asians in the United States. It provides comfort and meaning, shapes ethical and political beliefs, and influences culture and arts. Faithful Generations details the significance of religion in the construction of Asian American identity. As an institutional base for the movement toward Asian American panethnicity, churches provide a space for theological and political reflection and ethnic reinvention. With rich description and insightful interviews, Russell Jeung uncovers why and how Chinese and Japanese American Christians are building new, pan-Asian organizations. Detailed surveys of over fifty Chinese and Japanese American congregations in the San Francisco Bay area show how symbolic racial identities structure Asian American congregations. Evangelical ministers differ from mainline Christian ministers in their construction of Asian American identity. Mobilizing around these distinct identities, evangelicals and mainline Christians have developed unique pan-Asian styles of worship, ministries, and church activities. Portraits of two churches further illustrate how symbolic racial identities affect congregational life and ministries. The book concludes with a look at Asian AmericanaEURO"led multiethnic churches. This engaging study of the shifting relationship between religion and ethnicity is an ideal text for classes in ethnicity, religion, and Asian American studies.
Russell Jeung is an assistant professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco StateUniversity. He lives in Oakland, California, where he is active in the Asian American community and in church work.