First, we got to finish the very last Case Study, “God Needs No Passport”. What makes this book interesting was the focus of immigrants with four different religious beliefs and the varying countries that they originated. The way the group split up the four faiths into three sections: transnationalism, diversity and Americanness allowed me, personally, to better visualize how each practitioner felt and how their experience in America has changed their faith, and what it does for their family dynamic. One quote they mentioned really stood out to me: “The way people practice religion in America shapes what it means to be an American and our vision of what a good society should look like.” Everyone undoubtedly has their own views and feelings toward America, but it sounded as if the transition of living here has allowed each group to grow more tolerant and understanding of other faiths.
This week was also interesting to learn further about my peers’ respective congregational visits and how they each either fit the mold of a traditional church setting, or they didn’t. For the majority, everybody took their sociological eye to the test to document things like age, ethnicity, and overall attendance to give a thorough analysis of what each individual congregation was like. Even though we all didn’t go together, the slides and everyone’s description truly brought it to life, and I can imagine what these various church gatherings looked like. Everyone was excited to share what they learned and how their churches were either formal or informal.