Religion, Mobility and Materiality
The 2019 UCSIA summer school was the first edition in the three year cycle on Religion, mobility and materiality. We discussed the ways in which mobility influences the global and local religious landscape and focussed on:
(1) the ways in which religious materials and rituals travel around the globe and facilitate religious exchanges and changes in our global world: Do refugees travel with their icons and does that involve a change in the rituals? Can relics travel with people and what does that mean for the ritual space surrounding it? Is there space for practices and material exchange within the digital world; and how does this come about?
(2) the individual exchange of religious beliefs through mobility: How do the different modes of individual mobility (migration, asylum seeking, tourism, schooling…) change the religious belief-system of the ‘moving person’, but also of the people in the host country? How do people theologize their experience of migration, asylum-seeking? Does this mobility foster new forms of religion, ‘multiple religious belongings’ or does it create feelings of alienation, deculturalization, discrimination?
(3) the religious change that mobility and globalization has fostered and the meaning this has on the larger geopolitical context and social set-up of countries: How do postcolonial regions claim a position in the world through their traditions, churches, practices? What does religious conversion mean for the established world religions (internally, but also in the global geopolitical context)? How does this changing religious landscape influence the social set-up of a country (more solidarity, segregation)?
Jayeel Serrano Cornelio is Associate Professor and Director of the Development Studies Program at the Ateneo de Manila University.
David Henig is Associated Professor/visiting researcher at the Department of Cultural Anthropology, Utrecht University.
Angie Heo is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology of Religion at Divinity School, University of Chicago.
Copyright 2018 UCSIA Summer School