Currents of Faith, Places of History. Religious Diasporas, Connections, Moral Circumscriptions and World-Making in the Atlantic

Currents of Faith, Places of History. Religious Diasporas, Connections, Moral Circumscriptions and World-Making in the Atlantic

The JRP Currents of Faith, Places of History brings together a multidisciplinary team of scholars who share a concern for religion, mobility, place and heritage in the Atlantic space. Our goal is to creatively rethink theories of Atlantic history by focusing on ‘religious diasporas' through the lens of three main concepts: ideas of ‘connections', ‘moral circumscriptions' and ‘world-making'. Through a partnership between institutions in Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands and the UK, we congregate a team of senior and junior scholars that will develop a network of research themes across the Atlantic space, combining concepts and methodologies sprung from social anthropology, history and religious studies. We engage in an interdisciplinary collaboration so as to synthesise an empirical ethnographic methodology with a historical approach, exploring ‘meaningful histories' in their cultural and religious manifestations. We chart historical directionalities (or ‘currents') between Europe (Netherlands, Portugal), Africa (Angola, RD Congo, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry), North and South America (USA, Cuba, Caribbean, Brazil, Peru) and distinguish contemporary logics of presence, by which certain territories become ‘heritagized' and thus more socially and politically meaningful than others. In so doing, we question politics of identity and heritage, mobility and memory, as well as Europe's place in the Atlantic world.

 

Estatuto: 
Proponent entity
Financed: 
Yes
Entidades: 
HERA - Humanities in the European Research Area
Rede: 
HERA
Keywords: 

Religion, Mobility, Heritage, Atlantic

The JRP Currents of Faith, Places of History brings together a multidisciplinary team of scholars who share a concern for religion, mobility, place and heritage in the Atlantic space. Our goal is to creatively rethink theories of Atlantic history by focusing on ‘religious diasporas' through the lens of three main concepts: ideas of ‘connections', ‘moral circumscriptions' and ‘world-making'. Through a partnership between institutions in Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands and the UK, we congregate a team of senior and junior scholars that will develop a network of research themes across the Atlantic space, combining concepts and methodologies sprung from social anthropology, history and religious studies. We engage in an interdisciplinary collaboration so as to synthesise an empirical ethnographic methodology with a historical approach, exploring ‘meaningful histories' in their cultural and religious manifestations. We chart historical directionalities (or ‘currents') between Europe (Netherlands, Portugal), Africa (Angola, RD Congo, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry), North and South America (USA, Cuba, Caribbean, Brazil, Peru) and distinguish contemporary logics of presence, by which certain territories become ‘heritagized' and thus more socially and politically meaningful than others. In so doing, we question politics of identity and heritage, mobility and memory, as well as Europe's place in the Atlantic world.

 

Objectivos: 
In this project, we will focus on examples of encounters produced within the Atlantic space, and their connection with particular colonial histories; on the way these histories become operative in current religious, cultural and political manifestations in the Atlantic scenery; and on how religion plays into moralizing historiographic discourses and identifications of colonial heritages. We propose to pursue three main, interconnected dimensions: 1) Connections/dis-connections: Acknowledging social attachments to the land that are reconfigured in terms of ‘connections' and complex couplings of ‘territorialities' and ‘belongings' - from ‘African extraversions' to ‘cultural topographies' and Atlantic cultural histories. 2) Moral circumscriptions: Rethinking notions of diaspora, encounter and alterity through the mapping of ideologies of mobility and recognition within religious and cultural diasporas. 3) World-making: Looking at experiential and political processes of ‘location' in the world, and consequent production of senses of place and situation in the world, i.e. producing place and heritage in the Atlantic space.
State of the art: 
Our collaborative research proposal speaks directly to different areas of expertise and reflection, ranging from the history of the Atlantic to colonialism and post-colonialism; religious transnationalism; mobility and transnationalism; identity and belonging; heritage and cultural memory. In an article concerning African Christianity in Europe (Sarro&#769; and Blanes 2009), a theory of &lsquo;prophetic diasporas' was proposed, in order to chart and debate the historicity and current development of processes of mobility and belonging in the Atlantic space. We used the example of one specific current of Christianity, that of African prophetic movements, in order to explain how the Atlantic, more than scenery, was in fact a hub of religiosities and cultural encounters in the making. Such a proposal was inscribed in wider currents of thought that are rethinking both theories of globalization and transnationalism (Meyer and Geschiere 1998) and of Atlantic culture and history (see e.g. Gilroy 1993; Thornton 1992; Palmie&#769; 2002, 2007; Doortmont 2005; Bailyn and Denault 2008; Anquandah, Opoku-Agyemang and Doortmont 2007; Greene and Morgan 2008; Pare&#769;s and Sansi 2011). In what concerns the &lsquo;religious Atlantic', if there are manifestations that have become notorious in the social sciences and humanities literature - from colonial European Catholic missions heading south to Afro-Brazilian or Afro-Cuban religions after the history of slavery; or postcolonial &lsquo;Southernized' charismatic Christianity; or recent processes of &lsquo;reverse mission' in Europe etc. (see e.g. Freston 2001; Matory 2005, 2007; Routon 2006; Johnson 2007; Blanes and Sarro&#769; 2008; and Capone 2010 for recent assessments) -, the participants in this project are convinced of the need to chart alternative configurations that reveal the connections and continuities or disjunctions that emerge in the Atlantic scenario. We refer to mobilities, circulations and directionalities, as well as cultural and political histories which become operative through diverse agencies: objects (Roca 2007), materializations (Houtman and Meyer 2012), ideologies (Sarro&#769; and Me&#769;lice 2010), ethno-territorial configurations (Matory 2005; Palmie&#769; 2006, 2007; Van de Port 2011), etc. The background for this reassessment is a renewed theory of religious mobility, recognition and belonging that speaks directly to ideas of multiple &lsquo;Atlantic histories', co- presences and competing agencies.<p>&nbsp;</p>
Parceria: 
International networ
David Berliner
Carmen González Hacha
Birgit Meyer

CURRENTS

Coordenador 
Start Date: 
30/09/2013
End Date: 
30/09/2016
Duração: 
36 meses
Closed