Religion on the Move: Mapping Global Cultural Production and Consumption

Peggy Levitt

in Religion on the Edge

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199938629
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980758 | DOI:
Religion on the Move: Mapping Global Cultural Production and Consumption

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Many studies assert that aspects of religious life are “on the move” and that some kind of encounter—be it hybridization, syncretization, convergence, or transculturization—takes place. Others suggest ways of thinking about the spaces, networks, or flows that drive religious movement. In general, this work stops short of explaining what happens at these sites of encounter where what is moving bumps up against what is already there. We need a way to unpack and explain that contingent clustering, which holds the local, the national, the global, and all the layers of social experience in between in conversation with each other. We need a way of identifying systematic patterns of convergence, if they exist, and of explaining how power and history create them. We need to understand why some things move easily while others fail to launch or get blocked along the way. This chapter begins by laying out a transnational optic that helps elucidate aspects of these social relations and processes. It then outlines how “religion” can be understood and the carriers, geographies, and pathways that influence religious assemblage construction. It concludes with a discussion of how religious and ethnic movement compare, and reflects on how these different diversity markers are conceived and managed supports existing power hierarchies.

Keywords: religious life; religious movement; social relations; religion; ethnic movement

Chapter.  8146 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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