1st Edition

The Evangelical Church in Boston's Chinatown A Discourse of Language, Gender, and Identity

By Erika A. Muse Copyright 2005
    228 Pages
    by Routledge

    226 Pages
    by Routledge

    The purpose of this book is to provide valuable anthropological data on the identity construction of a rapidly growing Chinese Christian population in the United States. As more and more Chinese of different generations and varying cultural backgrounds practice evangelical Christianity, the meaning of Chinese American will change accordingly. The book provides significant linguistic data for a nascent but important area of anthropological research. The scope of the book encompasses Asian American homiletics, discourse analysis and prosody, types of sermons and roles of men and women in a diverse, multilingual church. Parallels between Confucianism and Christianity and the role of gradual evangelism in identity construction are discussed. These elements are contextualized within current sociocultural and economic spheres and address the implications of the model minority and Asian patriarchy. The book provides original linguistic data of sermons in Mandarin, Cantonese and English. The book posits that the Chinese of the Boston church have developed an ethno-Christian identity and this identity demonstrated through ethnically marked prosodic cues, unites the congregation in the ethnic church. This position challenges some current approaches to identity construction and the role of religion in immigrant communities.

    Editorial method Acknowledgments Preface Chapter one: Saving souls in chinatown: church and community Chapter two: Accounting for diversity -a comparison of case studies Chapter three: Cultural histories and christian traditions Chapter four: Text and performing ethnicity Chapter five: Separateness of church - Counter-culture christianity and the model minority Chapter six: Discourse public and private-performing gender Chapter seven: conclusion Notes Bibliography Index


    Erika A. Muse is an Anthropologist with a research focus on Chinese American Christianity and discourse analysis. She teaches anthropology and humanities at the Albany College of Pharmacy. She recently contributed a number of articles to the Asian American History and Culture: An Encyclopedia.