Middle Eastern Christian Spaces in Europe: Multi-sited and Super-diverse

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
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  • 1 Roskilde University
  • | 2 University of Edinburgh
  • | 3 University of St Andrews
  • | 4 Roskilde University
  • | 5 University of Lodz

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Despite little scholarly attention, Middle Eastern Christian Churches are a well-established element of the European religious landscape. Based on collaborative research, this article examines how three mutual field visits facilitated a deeper understanding of the complexity that characterises church establishment and activities among Iraqi, Assyrian/Syriac and Coptic Orthodox Christians in the uk, Sweden and Denmark. Exploring analytical dimensions of space, diversity, size, and minority position we identify three positions of Middle Eastern Christians: in London as the epitome of super-diversity, in Copenhagen as a silenced minority within a minority, and in Södertälje as a visible majority within a minority.

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  • 3

    Matei Candea, “Arbitrary locations: in defence of the bounded field-site,” Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 13 (2007), 167–184. Steven Vertovec, “Super-diversity and its implications,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 30/6 (2007), 1024–1054.

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  • 4

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  • 33

    Jennifer Mack, “Urban Design from Below: Immigration and the Spatial Practice of Urbanism,” Public Culture 26/1–72 (2014), 153–185.

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  • 35

    Naures Atto, Hostages in the Homeland, Orphans in the Diaspora: Identity Discourses Among the Assyrian/Syriac Elites in the European Diaspora (Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2011), 238.

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    • Export Citation
  • 37

    Garbi Schmidt, “Understanding and Approaching Muslim Visibilities: Lessons Learned from a Fieldwork-based Study of Muslims in Copenhagen,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 34/7 (2011), 1216–1229.

    • Search Google Scholar
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  • 41

    Vertovec, “Super-diversity,” 1025.

  • 42

    Vertovec, “Super-diversity,” 1025.

  • 43

    Vertovec, “Super-diversity,” 1026.

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    Paul Statham, “Political mobilisation by minorities in Britain: negative feedback of ‘race relations’?” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 25/4 (1999), 597–626.

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  • 48

    Candea, “Arbitrary,” 179–180.

  • 49

    Thomas Lacroix, “Transnationalism and Development: The Example of Moroccan Migrant Networks,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 35/10 (2009), 1665–1678. Steven Vertovec, “Migration and other Modes of Transnationalism: Towards Conceptual Cross-Fertilization,” International Migration Review 37/3 (2003), 641–665.

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  • 52

    Mara A. Leichtman, “From the Cross (and Crescent) to the Cedar and Back Again: Transnational Religion and Politics Among Lebanese Christians in Senegal,” Anthropological Quarterly. 86/1 (2013), 35–75. Una McGahern, Palestinian Christians in the Israeli state: State attitudes towards non-Muslims in a Jewish state (London & New York: Routledge, 2011).

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  • 53

    Lise Paulsen Galal, “Coptic Christian Practices: Formations of Sameness and Difference,” Islam and Christian – Muslim Relations 23/1 (2012), 45–58. Fiona McCallum, Christian Religious Leadership in the Middle East: The Political Role of the Patriarch (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 2010). Andrea Zaki Stephanous, Political Islam, Citizenship, and Minorities: The Future of Arab Christians in the Islamic Middle East (Lanham, md: University Press of America, 2010).

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  • 55

    C.f. Patrick Thornberry, “Minorities – what are they?” in Minorities and Human Rights Law. Minority Rights Group Report 73 (1991).

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  • 61

    Joseph Ruane & Jennifer Todd, “Ethnicity and Religion: Redefining the Research Agenda,” Ethnopolitics 9/1 (2010), 2.

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