Exploring Religious Diversity and Immigration: A Conversation with Stephen Warner

Steensland, Brian. “Exploring Religious Diversity and Immigration: A Conversation with Stephen Warner.” Regeneration Quarterly 3(2):14-18, Spring 1997.

In light of complex issues surrounding religious diversity and immigration in America, Brian Steensland interviews R. Stephen Warner, professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and project director for the New Ethnic and Immigrant Congregations Project. Questions range from the goal of the project, the types of groups on which it focuses, and where the project’s research is centered, to patterns of immigrant cultural assimilation, the depth of immigrants’ religious commitment, and the evangelical nature of Asian and Asian American congregations. Warner believes America is transitioning from the typical Protestant-Catholic-Jew religious divisions to those between liberal and conservative Christianity and between religious and non-religious people. He also finds that those who treasure religious faith—no matter what the content of that faith is—will increasingly develop a willingness to dialogue with each other as a way of maintaining religion’s “status in society,” even though differences will remain.