Korean Americans and Their Religions

Pilgrims and Missionaries from a Different Shore

By (author) Ho-Young Kwon, Kwang Chung Kim, R. Stephen Warner

Hardback - £82.95

Publication date:

01 March 2001

Length of book:

316 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271020723

Since 1965 the Korean American population has grown to over one million people. These Korean Americans, including immigrants and their offspring, have founded thousands of Christian congregations and scores of Buddhist temples in the United States. In fact, their religious presence is perhaps the most distinctive contribution of Korean Americans to multicultural diversity in the United States. Korean Americans and Their Religions takes the first sustained look at this new component of the American religious mosaic.

The fifteen chapters focus on cultural, racial, gender, and generational factors and are noteworthy for the attention they give to both Christian and Buddhist traditions and to both first– and second-generation experiences. The editors and contributors represent the fields of sociology, psychology, theology, and religious ministry and themselves embody the diversities underlying the Korean American religious experience: they are Korean immigrants who are leaders in their fields and second-generation Korean Americans beginning their careers as well as leaders of both Christian and Buddhist communities. Among them are sympathetically analytical outside observers.

Korean Americans and Their Religions is a welcome addition to the emerging literature in the sociology of "new immigrant" religious communities, and it provides the fullest portrait yet of the Korean religious experience in America.

“This is one of the most significant books to examine the role of religious congregations in the lives of post-1965 immigrants in American society. To my knowledge, no book has provided such a comprehensive treatment of the religious experiences of one immigrant/ethnic group.”

—Pyong Gap Min, Queens College, CUNY