A Fence or A Door : Perception of Christianity in Earlier Asian American Female



Year of publication 2020
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description American Christianity has been associated chiefly with a white middle-class recently so it may come surprising that more than 40 % of Asian Americans affiliate with Christianity, constituting the largest Asian American subgroup faith-wise. It is acknowledged that Christian Asian Americans gravitate towards conservatism and assimilation, while non-affiliated are inclined to liberalism and cultural hybridization. This paper thus analyses the stances towards Christianity in novels by Asian American women prior to 2000 and argues that those authors, who usually directly describe themselves as non-affiliated or agnostic, are indeed representative of non-affiliated Asian Americans, as the role Christianity plays in those books is usually hostile, alienating, obscure, or rigid. The authors used for the analysis are Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan, Gish Jen, Jhumpa Lahiri, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, and Bharati Mukherjee, representing Asian American female writing in the second half of the 20th century.
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