Religion on the move

The place of religion in different stages of the migration experience

Authored by: Jacqueline Maria Hagan

Routledge International Handbook of Migration Studies

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415779722
eBook ISBN: 9780203863299
Adobe ISBN: 9781135183493


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Because research on religion and migration has historically developed separately, we have only recently begun to understand their interrelationships. With the mass movements of individuals with diverse religious experiences from the global south since the mid-1960s, social scientists in the United States and Europe have taken a renewed interest in the connections between migration and religion. Most of the scholarship that has emerged in recent decades focuses on the immigrant experience and the role of religion in facilitating incorporation and ethnic identity, reflecting the academy's concern with the ways in which immigrants of diverse backgrounds and cultures are integrating into American and European societies. With the development of trans-nationalism as a new theoretical lens on the migration experience, research has broadened and shifted from a discussion of immigrants in national context to one of migrants in motion across territories. This new perspective has removed religion from a more restricted study of the immigrant experience and placed it within the broader context of the migration process. This chapter will provide an overview of the old and new scholarship that connects religion and migration. It will focus both on the place of migrants' religious beliefs, activities, and institutions in the different stages of the migratory circuit, and, conversely, it will examine the ways in which migrant religion is transformed by migratory behavior and practices.

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