Seeking a new spiritual home: The study of Chinese Christian churches and communities in the United States
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In this thesis, I would like to further explore why Chinese immigrants in the United States choose to convert to Christianity the most among many religions, and how the so-called "western religion" internalizes the immigrants' spiritual life and becomes their own religion. For many Chinese American Christians, converting to Christianity is not only a process of achieving a Christian identity, but also achieving an American identity; it is not merely retaining but reconstructing a Chinese identity as well. The later part of this thesis deals with the challenges which Chinese American churches may face, such as the familial and generational tension and the difficulties of conserving the Chinese traditions. I also use three Chinese American writers' literary works to examine the Christian elements in these selected texts and to discuss how Christianity brings influence upon Chinese immigrants' life and constructs their ideology as Chinese Americans. Based on personal experiences, historical documents and critical academic essays, I am able to construct the whole structure of this Master's thesis.