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Catholicism among the Chinese Diaspora in Europe

Ethnographic Reflections on Family and Spiritual Traditions

欧洲华侨的天主教团体 家庭和宗教传统的民族志研究

In: Review of Religion and Chinese Society
Author: Eva Salerno1,2
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  • 1 Groupe Sociétés Religions Laïcités (GSRL), CNRS – École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, France
  • | 2 Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, Taipei, Taiwan, xiawa260@gmail.com
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Abstract

In Paris, as in Milan, the establishment of Catholic communities of Chinese origin, which developed throughout the twentieth century, has followed the rhythms of migration from Asia. The French and Italian ecclesiastical authorities have welcomed these migrants and have set up a number of special structures for them. Based on a comparative ethnographic study carried out over several years in the Chinese parishes of Paris and Milan, this article analyzes the ways in which the family environment of Chinese believers shapes their faith and durably anchors their religious practices. In particular, it examines how this spiritual family tradition is significant in the trajectory and vocation of Chinese Catholic priests and church members. This article also addresses the challenge represented by the transmission of the Catholic faith from Chinese migrants to the younger generations who grew up in Europe. Finally, it looks at the role of the sociocultural support that parishes provide for migrants far from their country of origin and roots.

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