Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Faith, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt  
Rine Vieth (McGill University)

Paper short abstract:

What does it mean for an asylum-seeker to have "genuine" faith? What does belief look like or sound like? Working with solicitors, people of faith, and asylum-seekers, I propose a sociolegal approach to complicate assumptions of belief and faith within the UK Asylum Tribunals.

Paper long abstract:

My work focuses on the English Asylum Tribunals, and the tensions within in cases of faith and conversion. Representatives from the UK Home Office focus on assessments of an asylum applicant's faith: is the asylum-seeker a "genuine" believer, or are those supporting the seeker "hoodwinked"? This "binary of belief" is problematized by the lived experiences of asylum-seekers, whose narratives contradict the bureaucratic assumptions of what genuine faith ought to look and sound like. My ethnographic research—taking place inside the Tribunals themselves, as well as in churches, community centers, and NGOs—with solicitors, people of faith, and asylum-seekers seeks to complicate discourses around conversion, belief, and legal status to remain. I consider asylum-seekers' own larger narratives, descriptions of belief, and complicated relationships to faith alongside the complexities of legal regimes.

How does one prove faith? How does a purportedly secular legal system measure religious belief? How are asylum claims supported by those from the community, whether previously asylum-seeker or not? How does faith exist as a factor for those who support asylum-seekers?

By applying a sociolegal lens to these questions, I ask further questions of the tensions found inside and outside the UK Asylum Tribunals.

Panel P103
Religion and refugee: interdisciplinary discussion on humane-divine interactions
  Session 1 Tuesday 14 August, 2018, -