Expanding the new paradigm: winners and losers among exclusive and nonexclusive religious firms in the Chinese and Japanese communities in the United States, 1850-1945.
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Liu, Eric Y.
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From the perspective of a refined religious economy theory, the present paper is the first to empirically study the interplay between exclusive and nonexclusive religious bodies. Through reconstructing the historical facts of Chinese and Japanese immigration to the pre-1945 United States, I find that: 1) under certain social circumstances, an exclusive religious firm (e.g., the Christian mission church) with problematic styles of religious delivery give way to its nonexclusive competitors (e.g., the Chinese temple and the Japanese Buddhist church); 2) among nonexclusive religious groups those who adopt a congregational structure (e.g., the Japanese Shin Buddhist church) grow and thrive, while those otherwise tend to die out (e.g., the Chinese temple and the Shinto shrine) in face of social conflict. The implications of this study are discussed.