Around the Web

Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:

Schader, “Religion as a Political Resource”

In January, Springer Publishing released “Religion as a Political Resource: Migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa in Berlin and Paris,” by Miriam Schader (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity).  The publisher’s description follows:

Miriam Schader shows that migrants can use religion as a resource for political involvement in their (new) country of residence – but under certain circumstances 41FuxSH8bqL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgonly. The author analyses the role religious networks and symbols play for the politicization and participation of Muslim and Christian migrants from sub-Saharan Africa in Berlin and Paris. Against the widely held belief that Islam is a ’political religion’ in itself, this study demonstrates that Christian migrants draw on their religion for political action more easily than their Muslim counterparts. It also highlights that it is not religion in general which helps migrants get politically active, but particular forms of religious organisations and particular theological elements.

It’s Not a Muslim Ban

This morning at the Law and Liberty site, I have a post on the controversy surrounding President Trump’s executive order on immigration. I criticize the way the order was prepared and released, but also the unhinged reaction to it.

Here’s an excerpt:

And yet, the unhinged reaction to the order also doesn’t help. Don’t believe the hashtags: the order does not ban Muslim immigration to the US or impose a religious test for admission. The language is quite technical, and there are complications I lack space to address here. But, basically, the order does two things. First, it places a temporary ban on the admission of refugees from anywhere in the world, for 120 days, while officials review our current procedures to determine whether further security measures are necessary. After this 120-day period, the government will resume admitting refugees, up to 50,000 this year, under whatever new procedures officials devise.

The government will also be authorized, after 120 days, to give priority to refugees who are religious minorities and subject to persecution in their home countries. In an interview, President Trump indicated that he had Christians in mind. But by its terms the order extends to other religious minorities as well. In other words, it could cover Yazidi refugees from Iraq and Ahmadi Muslim refugees from Pakistan. It is not a unique preference for Christians—an issue I will address more in a moment.

You can read the whole post here.

 

“Religion, Migration, and Mobility” (de Castro & Dawson, eds.)

In February, Routledge will release Religion, Migration, and Mobility: The Brazilian Experience edited by Cristina Maria de Castro (Federal University of Minas Gerais) and Andrew Dawson (Lancaster University). The publisher’s description follows:

Religion, Migration, and Mobility.jpgFocusing on migration and mobility, this edited collection examines the religious landscape of Brazil as populated and shaped by transnational flows and domestic migratory movements. Bringing together interdisciplinary perspectives on migration and religion, this book argues that Brazil’s diverse religious landscape must be understood within a dynamic global context. From southern to northern Europe, through Africa, Japan and the Middle East, to a host of Latin American countries, Brazilian society has been influenced by immigrant communities accompanied by a range of beliefs and rituals drawn from established ‘world’ religions as well as alternative religio-spiritual movements. Consequently, the formation and profile of ‘homegrown’ religious communities such as Santo Daime, the Dawn Valley and Umbanda can only be fully understood against the broader backdrop of migration.

Contributors draw on the case of Brazil to develop frameworks for understanding the interface of religion and migration, asking questions that include: How do the processes and forces of re-territorialization play out among post-migratory communities? In what ways are the post-transitional dynamics of migration enacted and reframed by different generations of migrants? How are the religious symbols and ritual practices of particular worldviews and traditions appropriated and re-interpreted by migrant communities? What role does religion play in facilitating or impeding post-migratory settlement? Religion, Migration and Mobility engages these questions by drawing on a range of different traditions and research methods. As such, this book will be of keen interest to scholars working across the fields of religious studies, anthropology, cultural studies and sociology.

Gingrich, “Out of Place”

In July, Toronto University Press released Out of Place: Social Exclusion and Mennonite Migrants in Canada by Luann Good Gingrich (York University). The publisher’s description follows:Out of Place

The flow of migrants from south to north and east to west carries with it growing concerns about the economic integration, political incorporation, and social inclusion of newcomers and their children. But what happens when a group of people deliberately excludes themselves from mainstream society? How can social policies, human services, and communities best understand and respond to them?

In Out of Place, Luann Good Gingrich explores social inclusion and exclusion in relation to the approximately 60,000 Low German-speaking Mennonites who have migrated from traditionally self-sufficient and agrarian colonies in Latin America to rural areas of Canada. By examining the free-market principles that organize the human services industry the author exposes the inherent conflict that arises when this “market logic” is imposed on a group that does not embrace these ideals. The author’s innovative approach to social policy and human services which emphasizes the relationship between dominant and subordinate cultures, encourages us to find new ways to authentically engage with difference and bridge the gaps that divide us.

 

Hanson, “City of Gods”

In July, the Oxford University Press will release “City of Gods: Religious Freedom, Immigration, and Pluralism in Flushing, Queens,” by R. Scott Hanson (University of Pennsylvania).  The publisher’s description follows:

Known locally as the birthplace of American religious freedom, Flushing, Queens, in New York City is now so diverse and densely populated that it has become a 9780823271597microcosm of world religions. City of Gods explores the history of Flushing from the colonial period to the aftermath of September 11, 2001, spanning the origins of Vlissingen and early struggles between Quakers, Dutch authorities, Anglicans, African Americans, Catholics, and Jews to the consolidation of New York City in 1898, two World’s Fairs and postwar commemorations of Flushing’s heritage, and, finally, the Immigration Act of 1965 and the arrival of Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists, and Asian and Latino Christians.

A synthesis of archival sources, oral history, and ethnography, City of Gods is a thought-provoking study of religious pluralism. Using Flushing as the backdrop to examine America’s contemporary religious diversity and what it means for the future of the United States, R. Scott Hanson explores both the possibilities and Continue reading

Connor, “Immigrant Faith: Patterns of Immigrant Religion in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe”

This month, NYU Press releases “Immigrant Faith: Patterns of Immigrant Religion in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe” by Phillip Connor (Pew Research Center). The publisher’s description follows:

Immigrant Faith examines trends and patterns relating to religion in the lives of immigrants. The volume moves beyond specific studies of particular faiths in particular immigrant destinations to present the religious lives of immigrants in the United States, Canada, and Europe on a broad scale.
Religion is not merely one aspect among many in immigrant lives. Immigrant faith affects daily interactions, shapes the future of immigrants in their destination society, and influences society beyond the immigrants themselves. In other words, to understand immigrants, one must understand their faith.
Drawing on census data and other surveys, including data sources from several countries and statistical data from thousands of immigrant interviews, the volume provides a concise overview of immigrant religion. It sheds light on whether religion shapes the choice of destination for migrants, if immigrants are more or less religious after migrating, if religious immigrants have an easier adjustment, or if religious migrants tend to fare better or worse economically than non-religious migrants.
Immigrant Faith covers demographic trends from initial migration to settlement to the transmission of faith to the second generation. It offers the perfect introduction to big picture patterns of immigrant religion for scholars and students, as well as religious leaders and policy makers.

France to Facilitate Asylum for Iraqi Christians

France has offered to facilitate asylum for Iraqi Christians who have fled Mosul since the takeover of that city by ISIS, the jidahist group. The announcement came in a joint communiqué by Foreign Minister Laurence Fabius and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

Granting asylum is a very imperfect solution to the crisis Mideast Christianity currently faces. Indeed, Mideast Christian leaders typically resist the “escape option,” out of concern that Christian emigration will put an end to faith communities that have endured for thousands of years. For many Mideast Christians, though, emigration may be the only option left.

Fast-tracking asylum is the least the West can do for Iraqi Christians–but it may also be, sadly, the most. France, which traditionally has seen itself as the protector of Christians, especially Catholics, in the Middle East, deserves credit for taking this step. It would be nice if the United States, which bears principal responsibility among Western countries for what has happened to Iraqi Christians, would do the same thing. (H/T: Rod Dreher).

Cherry, “Faith, Family, and Filipino American Community Life”

Last month, Rutgers University published Faith, Family, and Filipino ProductImageHandlerAmerican Community Life, by Stephen M. Cherry (University of Houston-Clear Lake). The publisher’s description follows.

Stephen M. Cherry draws upon a rich set of ethnographic and survey data, collected over a six-year period, to explore the roles that Catholicism and family play in shaping Filipino American community life. From the planning and construction of community centers, to volunteering at health fairs or protesting against abortion, this book illustrates the powerful ways these forces structure and animate not only how first-generation Filipino Americans think and feel about their community, but how they are compelled to engage it over issues deemed important to the sanctity of the family.

Revealing more than intimate accounts of Filipino American lives, Cherry offers a glimpse of the often hidden but vital relationship between religion and community in the lives of new immigrants, and allows speculation on the broader impact of Filipino immigration on the nation. The Filipino American community is the second-largest immigrant community in the United States, and the Philippines is the second-largest source of Catholic immigration to this country. This ground-breaking study outlines how first-generation Filipino Americans have the potential to reshape American Catholicism and are already having an impact on American civic life through the engagement of their faith.

Sarat, “Fire in the Canyon: Religion, Migration, and the Mexican Dream”

This month, New York University Press will publish Fire in the Canyon: Religion, Migration, and the Mexican Dream by Leah Sarat (Arizona State Fire in the CanyonUniversity).  The publisher’s description follows.

The canyon in central Mexico was ablaze with torches as hundreds of people filed in. So palpable was their shared shock and grief, they later said, that neither pastor nor priest was needed. The event was a memorial service for one of their own who had died during an attempted border passage. Months later a survivor emerged from a coma to tell his story. The accident had provoked a near-death encounter with God that prompted his conversion to Pentecostalism.

Today, over half of the local residents of El Alberto, a town in central Mexico, are Pentecostal. Submitting themselves to the authority of a God for whom there are no borders, these Pentecostals today both embrace migration as their right while also praying that their “Mexican Dream”—the dream of a Mexican future with ample employment for all—will one day become a reality.

Fire in the Canyon provides one of the first in‑depth looks at the dynamic relationship between religion, migration, and ethnicity across the U.S.-Mexican border. Faced with the choice between life‑threatening danger at the border and life‑sapping poverty in Mexico, residents of El Alberto are drawing on both their religion and their indigenous heritage to demand not only the right to migrate, but also the right to stay home. If we wish to understand people’s migration decisions, Sarat argues, we must take religion seriously. It is through religion that people formulate their ideas about life, death, and the limits of government authority.

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