Migration, diaspora, and religion

Authored by: Martin Baumann

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138718364
eBook ISBN: 9780429438233
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429438233-57

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Abstract

Throughout history and still today, migration has significantly changed areas and territories, including the structure of their populations. While some people consider migration a curse that jeopardizes long-established ways of life, others value migration as an indispensable gain that brings fresh labour forces, new skills, and support for imbalanced pension schemes. Religious individuals such as monks and missionaries migrated to new parts of the world to spread their ideas and practices, disseminating Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and other faiths far beyond their regions of origin. Migration has thus changed the local, regional, and national make-up of religions and cultures in these distant lands. The term diaspora, for a long time indissolubly linked with the history of the Jewish people, more recently has become used for any migrant people living in a new country that retain their religious practices, beliefs, and communal life.

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