Dr. Anne Hansen is a professor in the history department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She became a Pluralism Project affiliate in 2000 while teaching in the departments of history and anthropology at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She worked with students and the Interfaith Center of Milwaukee through 2006 to collaboratively document the changing religious demography and diversity in Milwaukee.
At the time of this research, Dr. Hansen wrote of Milwaukee:
Milwaukee, which has historically served as an immigrant center for German LutheransLutheranism is a Protestant tradition following the theology of Martin Luther (1483-1546), the reformer who was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church and launched the German reformation. He emphasized the sole authority of the Bible, the priesthoo..., Irish and Polish Catholics, and Serbian Othodox Chrisitans, has drastically altered its religious landscape as new immigrants including HmongAn indigenous people of Southeast Asia. animists, South Asian and Middle Eastern Muslims, Indian SikhsSikhs call their tradition the “Sikh Panth,” meaning the “community (panth) of the disciples of the Guru.” The tradition reveres a lineage of ten Gurus, beginning with Guru Nanak in the 16th century and coming to a clos. with the death of Guru Gob..., Russian Jews, and Laotian Buddhists establish themselves in the city. Categorized as one of the two most segregated cities in the United States, Milwaukee has also experienced a major growth in African-American store-front churchesThe term church has come to wide use to refer to the organized and gathered religious community. In the Christian tradition, church refers to the organic, interdependent “body” of Christ’s followers, the community of Christians. Secondarily, church ..., tabernacles and Islamic centersAn Islamic center will typically include a mosque, school, and area for social and cultural activities. When a new Islamic center is being organized in the United States, attention is paid to community needs, including a weekend or full-time school, indic... in the past several decades. Ojibwe and Cuban communities in Milwaukee are practicing their traditional Native-American and Afro-Caribbean religionsAfro-Caribbean religions include a wide range of religious traditions that have roots in Africa, came to the islands of the Caribbean with African captives, and developed distinctive forms in this new environment: Santería or the Lucumi tradition in Cuba..., while many groups including Hmong, as well as Chinese and Hispanic immigrants, have established ethnic christian congregations, often in the very churches once occupied by Euro-American Christian groups. The city supports several American Buddhists communities and meditationMeditation is the disciplined practice of quieting and focusing the mind or cultivating the heart’s attention. Different meditation practices commend focusing attention on a word, a prayer, a form, or the breath as a way of practice. Meditation is commo... centers, and Neo-PagansThe term “pagan” (from the Latin paganus) originally meant “peasant” or “country dweller.” For many Pagans, the term suggests a life lived close to the land. Today, nature spirituality is an important thread in contemporary Paganism. Some Paga... are a growing presence as well.