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Abstract

Religion — Christianity — was an important factor in European transatlantic migrations; religion — Islam — is a major issue in the immigration debate in “postsecular” Germany (and Europe) today. Looking at Christianity and Islam, transnational and diachronic considerations reveal the communalities and differences in the effects of religion on migration over time and space, can speak to each other, and take away the notion of uniqueness. In this essay, I selectively summarize recent historical research on migration and religion with regard to the US and Germany. Secondly, I offer a brief overview of religion and migration in the early modern period focusing on transatlantic Christian missions from central Europe (Germanspeaking countries). Finally, I address the debate about the new Muslim migration in contemporary Germany with an eye towards the Turkish German community and to aspects of gender and religion. I argue that the same missionary impulse to spatial conquest and new community building is inherent in both, Christianity and Islam. While the modalities for migration have vastly changed over time, a traditionally Christian Germany has to negotiate now the ideas and interests of Islam’s religious functionaries and the religiosity of transnational Islamic communities.

In: Migration and Religion
Christian Transatlantic Missions, Islamic Migration to Germany
Volume Editor: Barbara Becker-Cantarino
This volume looks at how religious identity and symbolic ethnicity influence migration. Religion – Christianity – was an important factor in European transatlantic migrations; religion – Islam – is a major issue in the immigration debate in “post-secular” Germany (and Europe) today. Essays focus on German missionaries and their efforts in the eighteenth century to establish new communal forms of living with Native Americans as religious encounters. In a comparative fashion, Islamic transnational migration into Germany in the twenty-first century is explored in a second group of essays that look at Muslim populations in Germany. They provide an insight into the ongoing discussions in Germany about modern migration and the role of religion. This volume is of interest to all who are engaged in issues of historical and contemporary migration, in Cultural and German Studies.
In: Daphnis
In: Daphnis
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In: Daphnis