Keynote 1:“ "Mapping migration, Mapping Churches' responses in Europe"

Alessia Passarelli, Foundation for Religious Sciences 'John XXIII' in Bologna, Italy.

This article investigates the changes that have occurred in the European Christian landscape due to migration. It analyses the impact of migration flows on historical and mainline churches in different countries, as well as the formation of migrant churches. What integration strategies have different congregations implemented? How is the diversity of church composition reflected in liturgy and church leadership? What relationship, if any, is there between migrant and indigenous churches? These are some of the questions that inform this qualitative research which is based on questionnaires sent through different networks of churches and the work of CCME. 


Keynote 2: “Christian immigration to the Nordic countries”

Tuomas Martikainen, University of Eastern Finland, Finland. 

Christianity is the largest migrant religion worldwide, and is also significant in the Nordic countries. However, Christian migrants remain often invisible both in public debate as well as research. The presentation provides a demographic overview of Christian migrants to the Nordic countries, discusses existing research and shows its shortcomings. The presentation claims that by omitting Christianity from the debates significant biases are created in our understanding about the role of religion and the variety of outcomes in migrant settlement. Moreover, migrants Christians are themselves a highly diverse group that brings new Christian practices as well as challenge existing religious equilibria. The fractured denominational nature of Christianity supports the invisibility of Christian migrations.


Keynote 3: Orthodox Christians in Northern Europe - diaspora or minority?“

Sebastian Rimestad, Universität Leipzig, Germany

Since the early 20th century, Orthodox Christianity has had a significant presence also in Northern Europe - primarily bewcause of migration. At the same itme, however, there is a local Orthodox Church in Finland that was not the result of migration and an increasing number of Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes have converted to the Orthodox faith, especially in the last 30 years, for a variety of reasons. The characterisation of the Orthodox Church in Scandinavia as a "diaspora church", a church for migrants, still heolds true for the majority of its adherents, but is increasingly challenged. Moreover, the local converts are much more active in society and atre eager to portray Christian Orthodoxy as something that suits the local circumstances and is not limited to "exotic" foreigners. My keynote will provide an overview over the various formats and avenues through which diasporic identity is being challenged in North European Orthodox Christianity.


Keynote 4:  “Christian minorities in contemporary Sweden – e pluribus unum?”

Magdalena Nordin, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Christianity has in Sweden through history been heterogeneous and during the last decades immigration has accentuated this situation. At the same time, the Church of Sweden has had a dominant position, which in many, however different, ways has affected the minority churches. In the key note I will show how Christianity has changed in Sweden over the last decades and give example of how this has affected the relations between the churches as well in relation public institutions. I will by this show the complexity in the idea of “e pluribus unum”.


Keynote 5: ”The Visible and the Invisible: Narrating Catholic Immigration in Denmark”

Bjørn Thomassen, Roskilde University, Denmark.

In this paper I would like to re-address the claim that religion – and especially what Weber termed the ‘world religions’ – must be considered a main driver of modernization processes, and with particular attention to the concept of ‘multiple modernities’. Weber’s framework contained the multiple modernity idea in nuce: there are different ways of ‘rationalizing the world’ rooted in religious ideas, the ‘contents of their annunciation’ (Weber 1963: 272), and their institutional and personal elaboration, connected to the individual’s ‘conduct of life’. However, Weber’s crucial insights has led to an unproductive bias still visible in the literature on religion, seeing Protestant varieties of Christianity as the only real ‘carriers’ of development and secularization. To move beyond this bias, it is necessary to readdress the question of ‘ethics’ in the context of today. Religious traditions respond to modernity in unique ways. Modern Catholicism from the 19th century onwards has developed a distinct and universalizing language of the common good, mutual rights and duties, and global social justice. The crucial point is that the particularity of any ‘modernity’ lies not only in its institutional structures but also in the kind of ‘ethos’ or ‘spirit’ with which they constantly become injected, involving, shaping and re-casting personhood and community.

A vantage point in this discussion is indeed to zoom in on work ethics and to trace a broadly defined ‘catholic work ethic’. This can be done both via a historical analysis, and via ethnographic accounts of how Catholics – and Catholic work migrants in particular – today see themselves as ‘carriers’ of such an ethic. 

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