chapter  4
19 Pages

Religion in a Context of Super-diversity

Lowell Livezey opens his account of Roger’s Park, a neighbourhood on the northern most fringe of Chicago, by taking the reader on a walk down Devon Avenue, the main street of the neighbourhood (2000b, 133). This begins inland, walking towards Lake Michigan, and moves through a series of areas each defined by its own ethnic and religious community; Jewish, Indian, ‘Indo-Pakistani’, and Mexican (134-5). In each section of the road Livezey outlines the religious buildings associated with the community; synagogues, community centres, temples, mosques and churches. This leads Livezey to articulate the nature of religious diversity within this neighbourhood, and by implication throughout the city of Chicago, in terms of ‘ethnoracial enclaves’, a concept he takes back to the study of Jewish ghettos, the Catholic national parishes and many Protestant, primarily German, neighbourhoods in the classic Chicago School analyses (139). Only one of the congregations in Roger’s Park either is, or even aims to be, diverse in terms of its ethnic and racial make up. Practically all the others, through positive development or simple inaction, reinforce the ethnoracial differences (156-60). It is difficult to see, therefore, Roger’s Park as a whole, or how religious diversity as such is envisioned or discussed within the neighbourhood.