An international symposium on Religion and Migration will be held at the Institute of African Studies, Rabat (Morocco), on 25-27 November 2010. The aim of this symposium is to bring together researchers and scholars from across the disciplines of the social and human sciences interested in religion-migration dynamics. Scholars in all fields of scholarship are invited to submit abstracts focusing on theoretical, empirical or comparative studies of the religion-migration interface. Themes to be considered may include, but are not restricted to:
Philosophical and spiritual dimensions of migration
Migration in the history of religions
The role played by religious institutions in migration
Religion, territoriality and trans-locality
Religious diasporas and multicultural societies
The religious market and the marketing of religion
Religion and discourses on migration
Migrations, both voluntary and involuntary, have marked every era of human history and migration continues to fashion the contemporary world. Studies over the past several decades have highlighted the extent to which migration is having a fundamental impact on societies, cultures and economies of both emitting and receiving countries. In the host countries of the developed world national politics and public debate are increasingly preoccupied with issues such as identity, minority rights, security, social integration, cultural diversity and religion in the public sphere, issues which are construed as being linked to immigration. What is more, research on migration has helped formulate some key concepts and theories in the fields of the social and human sciences. Among these we can list: globalization, trans-nationalism, post-modernity, post-coloniality, diasporas, hybridity, cosmopolitanism and autochthony.
No less than other domains of social interaction, religion has been affected by migration. Historically, “organized” religions spread through diverse migratory movements: proselytizing missions, mystical peregrinations, study journeys, pilgrimage, trade, but also conquest and exile. In today’s world of mass travel and cheap instantaneous communication, even religions which were historically circumscribed within narrow geographical perimeters are being practiced in countries very distant in space and culture from their original hearths. Shiite mosques in Australia, temples to Shiva and Krishna in Dubai, Vietnamese Buddhist temples in Canada, Evangelical churches in Morocco, Sikh gurudwaras in Brazil, Santeria churches in the USA, Mormon temples in Ghana, Naqshbandiya khanqas in England… all of the world’s religions now effectively share the same streets.
Until now, the study of migration and research on religious dynamics have developed separately. It is time therefore to ask how these phenomena are interconnected. It is with this aim that two of the Institute of African Studies’ research groups: “Religious Dynamics in Africa” (ERDRA), and “Planning and Development of Desert Regions” (GRADLED), are organizing the symposium. By proposing the theme of “Religion and Migration” for this conference we hope to focus attention on the religious and spiritual dimensions of migration and, at the same time, assess the role that migration plays in the (re)configuration of religions across Africa and globally. Morocco is an ideal venue for a debate on this interconnectedness given its situation at the crossroads of continents, seas and civilizations, and its status at once as an emitting country, a receiving country and a “country of transit” for migrants.
The languages of the conference will be English, French and Arabic. Abstract for presentation proposals (300 words), along with a brief CV, must be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 15, 2010. Conference participants will be notified by April 30, 2010. Final drafts of presentations will be due October 15, 2010.
For more information, leave a message at the above email or contact: Fatima Harrak, email@example.com
Dr Fatima Harrak
Institute of African Studies
Mohamed V University
Allal al-Fassi Avenue
PB 8968 Madinat al-Irfane, Rabat-Agdal
tel: (+212) 537 77 12 72 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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