Someone actually did his PhD and wrote a book on the history of religious freedom in Flushing. As a Dutch colony, Flushing welcomed worshipers of all faiths and denominations, as exclaimed in the Flushing Remonstrance. Even until this day, this generosity of spirit and ingrained pluralism is a defining characteristic of the spirit of Flushing residents.
In his book, City of Gods: Religious Freedom, Immigration and Pluralism in Flushing, Queens – New York City, 1945-2001, Hanson, who is also director of Penn’s Social Justice Research Academy, uses the history of religious diversity in Flushing to examine religious diversity in America, and consider the possibilities and limits of pluralism.
Hanson says the lessons of Flushing, successes and failures, can be applied to densely populated, rapidly changing neighborhoods across the nation.