Religion and Immigration

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2024) | Viewed by 4650

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor

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Guest Editor
General History Department, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan 5290002, Israel
Interests: Jewish studies; religion

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Guest Editor
Department of General History, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 5290002, Israel
Interests: Jewish studies; religion

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Theology, Protestantse Theologische Universiteit, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Interests: Jewish studies; religion

Special Issue Information

Immigration and religion are usually researched from the perspective of disruption and alienation. In this volume, we aim to examine the constructive and palliative influence of religion. This is a subject that is worth further study, it is sorely needed, not only academically but for our societies as well.

Dear Colleagues,

In the aftermath of the refugee crisis that shook European societies in the last decade, and the divisive debate on migration to the United States, cultural and religious conflict has increased, and extremist politics threaten to undermine democratic cultures and processes. Yet, religious communities also extend hospitality to immigrants and often lead the way in cultural and civic integration. Migrant religious leaders provide their communities with a sense of continuity of tradition, and local religious activists provide bridges to new societies. The multifaceted roles religion plays in immigration are at the center of this conference.

Immigration has radically reshaped the global religious landscape throughout history. As religions enter new and unfamiliar territories, new religious, linguistic and cultural connections form, and questions of religious change, conversion and secularization become acute. Theologies are transformed. Immigrants retain religious leadership or develop a new one, and both can enhance or disrupt integration. Religions often provide immigrants with a major channel for cautious adoption of local habitus, norms and ideas, and negotiation of religious and cultural ideas into the host culture. They are a medium for major cultural encounters.

We are pleased to invite you to participate in this Special Issue, which will explore the role of religion in immigration from a post-secular perspective; that is, with the assumption that religions are key social players even in Western “secular” societies, and that they should be explored both institutionally and as diverse culture. The aim is to collect at least 10 articles, and the Special Issue may be printed in book form if this number is reached.

This Special Issue aims to cover the following topics: religious leaders as sources/purveyors of continuity; theologians as cultural bridge builders; religious activists as socializing agents; religion’s impact on integration: case studies; religious activism, religious institutions and immigration; religious communities facilitating integration; religious organizations and refugees; religious sensibilities and humanitarian ideologies; religious organizations, lobbying, and immigration policy making. This list is not exhaustive, and we will be happy to consider other relevant topics.

Original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following: history, theology, sociology, anthropology, political science, and interdisciplinary studies.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Malachi Hacohen
Prof. Dr. Hilda Nissimi
Dr. Zohr Maor
Prof. Dr. Dorottya Nagy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • immigration
  • leadership
  • religious organizations
  • integration
  • theology
  • religious leadership
  • women
  • redemption
  • exile

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Mashhadis and Immigration: Redemptive Narratives and Practical Challenges
by Hilda Nissimi
Religions 2024, 15(6), 730; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15060730 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 216
Abstract
This paper analyzes redemptive narratives constructed by Mashhadi Jewish immigrants through oral histories, memoirs, and life stories collected across generations. It examines how conceptions of religion, community, and family shaped their meaning-making around migration challenges. The first case study examines Malka Aharonoff’s lamentation [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes redemptive narratives constructed by Mashhadi Jewish immigrants through oral histories, memoirs, and life stories collected across generations. It examines how conceptions of religion, community, and family shaped their meaning-making around migration challenges. The first case study examines Malka Aharonoff’s lamentation reconstructed from religious redemption across generations into a Zionist narrative. The second analyzes Esther Amini’s published memoir, which reconciles her story with that of her immigrant parents through narrative, demonstrating its role across generations with gender as the focal point. The later cases of Aharon Namdar and Mehran Bassal present individual oral histories, capturing major migration waves from Iran, playing out the differing import and expression given to Zionism and to religion by different immigrants. The study explores how selective appropriation and cultural translation occurred between generations. It sheds light on ideological and cultural frameworks underlying immigrant perspective. By comparing narratives emphasizing collective redemption versus individual experiences, it offers insights into identity formation and the role of memory in immigrant communities dispersing over time. By demonstrating narrative’s therapeutic role in processing dislocation across generations, the study sheds light on cultural transmission and identity formation within dispersed immigrant communities. It offers a fresh perspective on their migration experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Immigration)
12 pages, 698 KiB  
Article
Migration, Exile, and Vocation in the Metropol: The Figure of Joseph in the Early Writings of Léon Askenazi
by Ori Werdiger
Religions 2024, 15(6), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15060673 - 30 May 2024
Viewed by 281
Abstract
This paper considers the relationship between exile and migration as reflected in a case study of biblical exegesis in modern Jewish thought. I consider the place of the biblical figure of Joseph in an early text by Léon Askenazi (also known as Manitou), [...] Read more.
This paper considers the relationship between exile and migration as reflected in a case study of biblical exegesis in modern Jewish thought. I consider the place of the biblical figure of Joseph in an early text by Léon Askenazi (also known as Manitou), a North African kabbalist and French intellectual, and a key spiritual leader of Francophone Jewry in the second half of the twentieth century. The paper begins by locating Askenazi within the mass migration, or “repatriation”, of the Algerian Jewish community to metropolitan France. I then examine and analyze the reinterpretation of Joseph in an early and unpublished text by Askenazi. I show how Askenazi’s explication departs from a common reading of the Joseph story by recasting it as a positive diasporic narrative with direct contemporary implications. I argue that during Askenazi’s early years in Paris, he sought to offer a “Josephic” model for Jewish life in postwar France, a model which also functioned as an alternative to the Zionist ethos of the negation of exile. The paper’s conclusion reflects on how Askenazi’s ideas may speak to conversations on religion and immigration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Immigration)
9 pages, 251 KiB  
Article
The Cult of Our Lady of Fátima, Portuguese Colonialism, and Migration, c. 1930–c. 1980
by Arpad von Klimo
Religions 2024, 15(3), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030255 - 20 Feb 2024
Viewed by 828
Abstract
Emerging in 1917 amidst the anxieties of World War I, the Cult of Our Lady of Fátima began with a vision witnessed by three shepherd children in rural Portugal. News of the apparition quickly spread, drawing hundreds, then thousands of pilgrims to the [...] Read more.
Emerging in 1917 amidst the anxieties of World War I, the Cult of Our Lady of Fátima began with a vision witnessed by three shepherd children in rural Portugal. News of the apparition quickly spread, drawing hundreds, then thousands of pilgrims to the Cova da Iria. This potent symbol of faith soon transcended its origin, migrating in the form of venerated statues and dedicated shrines that sprouted across the globe. Particularly intertwined with Portuguese emigration, the cult’s reach extended to former colonies in Africa and Asia (“Ultramar”) and distant communities like Brazil. Statues of Our Lady became beacons of familiarity and solace, offering “homes away from home” for displaced populations. This essay focuses on the discourses surrounding the cult between the early 1930s and 1950s, exploring how Fátima served as a focal point for navigating the social, political, and cultural conflicts inherent in the emigration experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Immigration)
16 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
A Dialogic Theology of Migration: Martin Buber and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy
by Zohar Maor
Religions 2024, 15(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15010042 - 27 Dec 2023
Viewed by 985
Abstract
Martin Buber (1878–1965) and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy (1888–1973) were influential theologians and intellectuals known for their heterodox theologies and for their visions of a society based on dialogue. Both experienced migration. Buber emigrated during his teens from Vienna to Galicia, then, after his marriage, [...] Read more.
Martin Buber (1878–1965) and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy (1888–1973) were influential theologians and intellectuals known for their heterodox theologies and for their visions of a society based on dialogue. Both experienced migration. Buber emigrated during his teens from Vienna to Galicia, then, after his marriage, from Vienna to Germany, and finally from Germany to Palestine in 1938. Rosenstock-Huessy, a Christian theologian of Jewish origin, fled Germany in the wake of the Nazi rise to power in 1933. Independently and in different contexts, these thinkers employed their theologies in the 1930s and 1940s, advocating for immigration against the prevailing ideas of nativism and developing an (embryonic) theory and praxis of dialogic integration. Both sought to replace the popular totalistic and intolerant melting-pot ideology. This essay explores Buber’s and Rosenstock-Huessy’s approaches to immigration and its reception, the influence of their immigration experiences, and the relation to their approaches to other aspects of their thought. It explores the nativist theological approaches they opposed and the anti-nativism that might have inspired them. Finally, this essay examines the novelty of their approaches; while their theological advocacy of immigration was unique only in their times, their dialogical approach to integration stands out, even with regard to the contemporary multicultural approach, due to its theological edge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Immigration)
17 pages, 2101 KiB  
Article
Movement, Geography, and Rabbinic Culture in High Medieval Northern Europe
by Tzafrir Barzilay
Religions 2024, 15(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15010034 - 25 Dec 2023
Viewed by 773
Abstract
Despite the distance between their different communities and the difficulties of medieval travel, the Jews of northern Europe developed typical common legal and communal traditions. Rabbinic students traveled hundreds of kilometers to study with famous rabbis, rabbis themselves often relocated from one community [...] Read more.
Despite the distance between their different communities and the difficulties of medieval travel, the Jews of northern Europe developed typical common legal and communal traditions. Rabbinic students traveled hundreds of kilometers to study with famous rabbis, rabbis themselves often relocated from one community to another, and questions were regularly sent to faraway rabbinic authorities and were quickly answered. This article sheds light on the movement and communication patterns of medieval Jewish scholars as a social group. It includes three sections; the first focuses on the movement patterns of prominent rabbis, the second on their forms of communication, and the third on the way these practices were reflected in the organization of larger communal structures. Overall, the article highlights the major role that networks of movement and communication played in the intellectual culture of the rabbinic elite (and other Jews as well) in high medieval northern Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Immigration)
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9 pages, 271 KiB  
Article
A View from 14th Century Toledo: Rabbi Asher, a German Émigré, Transforms the Legal Culture in Castile
by Judah D. Galinsky
Religions 2023, 14(11), 1351; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14111351 - 25 Oct 2023
Viewed by 763
Abstract
In this study, I explore the way in which a German émigré rose to the status of a cultural hero in Castile, Spain, and how his work of law became one of the three “pillars” of Jewish law. A survey of the Jewish [...] Read more.
In this study, I explore the way in which a German émigré rose to the status of a cultural hero in Castile, Spain, and how his work of law became one of the three “pillars” of Jewish law. A survey of the Jewish legal landscape in medieval Spain during the fourteenth century reveals a shift in the status of one of the centers of Talmudic and legal (halakha) studies there as compared with the previous century. The fortune of the center in Toledo changed dramatically, and this change is traceable to the impact of one German émigré, Rabbi Asher ben Jehiel. Many scholars have examined Asher’s life and work. However, none have seriously analyzed the change he brought to the legal culture in Castile or examined the mechanism of how this occurred. This study describes Asher’s impact and attempts to expose the processes that brought about this transformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Immigration)
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