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  • Elzbieta M Gozdziak

What’s God got to do with it? Debating religion and forced migration entanglements


Call for Contributions to a conference panel at the

International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) Accra, Ghana July 27-30, 2020

Violent conflicts, social unrest, and other humanitarian crises around the world have led to growing numbers of people seeking refuge both in the North and in the South. Migrating and seeking refuge have always been part and parcel of spiritual development. However, the current 'refugee crisis' in Europe and elsewhere in the world has brought to the fore fervent discussions regarding the role of religion in defining difference, linking the ‘refugee crisis’ with Islam, and fear of the ‘Other.’ Many religious institutions, spiritual leaders, and politicians invoke religious values and call for strict border controls to resolve the ‘refugee crisis.’ However, equally many humanitarian organizations and refugee advocates use religious values to inform their call to action to welcome refugees and migrants, provide them with assistance, and facilitate integration processes.

We are seeking panelists whose work fits a wide range of issues related to religion and forced migration, including, but not limited to, the examination of:

• re-politicization of religion and forced migration; • religiously motivated violence as a root cause of forced migration; • debates, policies, and activism based on values rooted in different religions; • faith and the secular in realizing humanitarian values and principles; • clashes between different religious values hindering immigrant integration; • multi-religious responses to the ‘migration crisis;’ • engagement of religious institutions in providing assistance to refugees and migrants; • role of religion in populism; • role of religion in coping with trauma of forced migration; • methodological challenges involved in empirical studies of religion and forced migration; • lived experiences of religion/s and forced migration.

The geographic focus is global. We welcome papers based on rigorous empirical research, policy analyses, and refugee narratives. We welcome submissions exploring issues from historical, philosophical, anthropological, theological, and interdisciplinary perspectives. If you are interested in participating, please send a title and a 250-word abstract to Elzbieta M. Gozdziak at emg27@georgetown.edu by October 25, 2019 at the latest.


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