February 3, 2014 Scholars to Discuss World Christianity, Immigration and the United States, Feb. 26

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Jason Steinhauer (202) 707-0213
Contact: Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ada@loc.gov

How are the diverse religious expressions of immigrants changing the landscape of American religion, culture and society, particularly Christianity?

Four scholars of religion will discuss the major demographic changes in the Christian world and the impact on the United States from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. The panel will be moderated by Laurie Goodstein, national religion correspondent for The New York Times.

Free and open to the public, the program will take place in Room 119 on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Tickets are not needed.

According to Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, the former general secretary of the Reformed Church in America and a distinguished visiting scholar at the Kluge Center in 2012, the energetic center of world Christianity has shifted to the non-Western world. Much of its impact on the United States is being mediated through immigrants.

The panel will focus on the interconnectivity of current world Christianity, immigration to the United States from the Global South, and the impact on American religion, particularly Christianity.

While at the Kluge Center, Granberg-Michaelson researched and wrote his latest book, “From Times Square to Timbuktu: The Post-Christian West Meets the Non-Western Church” (2013).

Scholars participating in the panel, in addition to Granberg-Michaelson, include Jehu J. Hanciles, Scott W. Sunquist and Virginia Garrard-Burnett.

Hanciles is the author of “Euthanasia of a Mission: African Church Autonomy in a Colonial Context” (2002) and “Beyond Christendom: Globalization, African Migration and the Transformation of the West” (2008). A professor at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Hanciles is a widely published author on issues related to the history of Christianity, notably the African experience. His current research aims to survey the history of global Christianity through the lens of migration.

Sunquist is dean and professor of world Christianity in the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. An author of volumes on Asian Christianity, global Christianity and missiology, he is editor of “A Dictionary of Asian Christianity” (2001) and co-author of “A History of the World Christian Movement, Volume 1” (2001) and Volume II (2012).

Garrard-Burnett is professor of history and religious studies at the University of Texas-Austin, specializing in the religious history of Latin America with a focus on Protestantism and new religious movements. The author of several books, she most recently co-edited the “Cambridge History of Religion in Latin America.”

Goodstein, the moderator, is national religion reporter for The New York Times, and previously held the same position at The Washington Post. She is a past recipient for the first-place award for Best In-Depth News Reporting on Religion from the Academy of Religion, the nation’s largest academic association of religion scholars. Goodstein has received many top awards from the Religion Newswriters Association.

The event will be live-tweeted with the hashtag #WorldChris. For further information, visit www.loc.gov/loc/kluge/news/worldchristianity-2013.html.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit www.loc.gov/kluge/.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.


PR 14-017
ISSN 0731-3527