Recognizing Christianity: How African Migrants Redefine the European Religious Heritage

Recognizing Christianity: How African Migrants Redefine the European Religious Heritage

Through an ethnographic analysis of local "politics of recognition", i.e. how some churches fight for recognition and interact with mainstream Christianity, this project explores the role of religion in African diasporas and their capacity to help reconfigure the European religious heritage, influence national and regional identities within the continent, and establish connexions between Europe and Africa, but also across Europe.

We propose a comparison of three national settings with a strong African presence (Portugal, United Kingdom and the Netherlands), each one with its own colonial past and its own Christian traditions. We propose the following research themes:

  • Religion as resource.
  • Religion as a space for identity formation.
  • Interactions.
  • The politics of religious encounters and recognitions.
  • Religion, memory and identity.
  • New exclusions and inclusions within churches.

In order to address them, the following case-studies are to be undertaken: Kimbanguist and Tokoist churches in Lisbon and their relation with Catholic communities; the Celestial Church of Christ parish in Amsterdam, and the Redeemed Christian Church of God based in London. These case-studies will be put into dialogue in order to build an empirical framework that will provide the comparative bases for a common theoretical discussion.

Estatuto: 
Proponent entity
Financed: 
No

Through an ethnographic analysis of local "politics of recognition", i.e. how some churches fight for recognition and interact with mainstream Christianity, this project explores the role of religion in African diasporas and their capacity to help reconfigure the European religious heritage, influence national and regional identities within the continent, and establish connexions between Europe and Africa, but also across Europe.

We propose a comparison of three national settings with a strong African presence (Portugal, United Kingdom and the Netherlands), each one with its own colonial past and its own Christian traditions. We propose the following research themes:

  • Religion as resource.
  • Religion as a space for identity formation.
  • Interactions.
  • The politics of religious encounters and recognitions.
  • Religion, memory and identity.
  • New exclusions and inclusions within churches.

In order to address them, the following case-studies are to be undertaken: Kimbanguist and Tokoist churches in Lisbon and their relation with Catholic communities; the Celestial Church of Christ parish in Amsterdam, and the Redeemed Christian Church of God based in London. These case-studies will be put into dialogue in order to build an empirical framework that will provide the comparative bases for a common theoretical discussion.

Objectivos: 
How does religion serve as resource for social and spiritual empowerment of African Christian migrants in European societies, in terms of citizenship, civil participation and social action?<br /><br />What kind of identity formations can be seen among African Christian migrants and how are these formations related to the above-mentioned questions of empowerment?<br /><br />How do African migrants and hosts, in particular the ‘European' churches, interact with each other in terms of a ‘politics of recognition' and ‘culture politics'? <br />What is the place of religion in the interplay between African migration and gender?
Parceria: 
Unintegrated
Simon M. Coleman
Fátima Viegas
Martha Frederiks
Nienke Pruiksma
Rijk van Dijk
Kristine Krause
Coordenador 
Start Date: 
03/09/2008
End Date: 
03/10/2010
Duração: 
25 meses
Closed