Making a ‘Home Away from Home’?

Home-Making Practices in the Celestial Church of Christ in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

In: African Diaspora
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  • 1 Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands


Are migrant religious communities a ‘home away from home’ as is often claimed? What is home and how does religion feature in the creation of home and belonging in the process of migration? This article interrogates the oft-mentioned communalities in language, culture, ethics and ethnicity as key factors in home-making and belonging. Building on Thomas Tweed’s argument concerning the home-making features of religion, I argue that ritual is the key factor. Looking at the ritual of anointment in the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) in Amsterdam, this article concludes that in a migration context both the leadership and members invest in anointment as a ritual of home-making, resulting in the negotiation of an inherited practice to create – albeit temporary and contested – experiences of home and belonging.

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