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Religion, (im)mobilities and citizenship in the face of populism
José Mapril (Center for Research in Anthropology (CRIA), Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
Guillermo Martín-Sáiz (Washington University in St. Louis)
Cristina Rocha (Western Sydney University)
Clara Saraiva (FLUL, University of Lisbon)
Thursday 23 July, 8:30-10:30, 11:00-13:00 (UTC+1)

Short abstract:

How does religious mobility fare in a context in which nationalism(s) and populism(s) are growing and movement is being curtailed and segmented? In such a context, how is religion and mobility used in the making of moral hierarchies in European societies?

Long abstract:

In the past decades, we have been studying mobile religions focusing on institutions, people, materialities, practices, beliefs, media, and cyberspace. But how does religious mobility fare in a world of walls, nationalisms, populisms, and segmented mobilities? In Europe, Christianity is frequently perceived as the religion of the land, becoming part of several nationalistic imaginaries and heritages. In this context, other religious practices are deemed 'matter out of place'. The growth of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism revealed in construction of a homogeneous Muslim subjectivity and the contestations over the construction of mosques or minarets are cases in point. Simultaneously, there have been also hostile responses to 'noisy' Pentecostal churches in European cities. All these reveal an isomorphism between religion and place, which implies the construction of religious others (e.g., "immigrant religions" vs "native religions"), radical alterities and moral hierarchies.

In this panel, we ask: what is the impact of such dynamics on religious mobilities, practices and experiences? How do these populist agendas impact on religious fields; and how these define who is entitled (and excluded) from making claims? Which religions become heritage and what does this tells us about the making of autochthony and nativisms? In such a context, what are the ways in which religion and mobilities (migrants, refugees, tourists) are entangled? What is the role of imagination, materiality, cyberspace, and asymmetries of power on the ways in which religions move or get stuck? We would like presenters to address these broad themes, both from an ethnographic and/or theoretical perspective.

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