NCSR 2008 - Urban Diversity and Religious Traditions
13-15 August 2008, Åbo Akademi University

Religion, migration and diaspora

Tuomas Martikainen, Åbo Akademi University

International migration has been a major force in transforming the religious situation in most European societies since the 1950s, even though the timing has considerably varied in individual countries. The settlement of new migrant populations has led new forms of religious practice, organizations, administrative measures, forms of governance and public discussions. A plethora of theoretical approaches has been used in analyzing and understanding the new religious diversity and its societal consequences. These include approaches that take into account the global, transnational and diasporic features of immigrant origin religious activities.

In the beginning of the 21st century we have witnessed an increased politicization of religious identities, growing awareness regarding radical forms of religion and varied efforts of the governance of religious diversity. This happens in the context of a generational shift among migrant population and increased transnational relations in terms of the spread of ideas, communication and travel. Of significance is also the supposed failure of European multiculturalism policies. Much of the research on religion and immigrant communities draws its inspiration from the experiences of the first generation, but it remains more open what kinds of trajectories will the subsequent generations opt.

The aim of the workshop is provide a forum for scholars to present papers on religion, migration and diaspora. Especially welcome are papers discussing new theoretical approaches, but also empirical works are welcome.