Case Study Presentations

Today in class we had our final case study presentation and to me this was the most profound. Peggy Levitt’s, “God Needs No Passport: Immigrants and the Changing American Religious Landscape” is a book that tells of the experiences of immigrants and their religious faith here in the United States. As a daughter of an immigrant, I loved hearing about the stories, experiences, and different meanings of religion for these different people. Levitt interviewed many people that identified with certain religions. She interviewed Protestants from Brazil, Catholics from Ireland, Muslims from Pakistan, and so on. Each of the people even within the same religion and geographical location all had differing levels of religiosity and practice. There is no “right way” to practice religion, it is what you make of it. One does not have to be a devout Muslim in order to be classified as “Muslim” and I think this book shows that: religion and borders are malleable and can be transcended from its literal and physical halt. Even from countries away, one can feel as close or as far as they want from their home and they can be as devout or as loose with their religion as they want to be. We have the option to decide what identity lenses we take on. This book really emphasizes the idea that religion has no borders and can and does evolve for immigrants trying to integrate into American culture as well as vice versa.