Religion, Migration and Social Transformation (008GR)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

Globalisation has rendered religions increasingly visible through their materialisation in urban spaces - prompting some to argue we are now in an age of postsecularism. Drawing on resources from anthropology, human and cultural geography, we will explore the significance of sacred spaces and religious traditions in practices of crossing and dwelling, and in transnational migration networks. You will learn how religion is drawn upon as a social and cultural resource, and transformed in everyday life in relation to migrant experience. Religion has hitherto been a much under-emphasised aspect of migration - playing a distant second fiddle to issues of race, class, and gender. Where migration scholars have engaged, it has predominantly been refracted through the lens of debates on the integration and assimilation of minority ethnic communities in the Global North.

Throwing religion into the mix this module looks to go further; examining intersectionalities of social formations, power, and resistance through more nuanced accounts of everyday lives. The module introduces students to ways of thinking about how movement and mobility is at the heart of lived understandings of religion. What do religious traditions look like when seen through the lens of migration? In what ways are they re-configured and re-imagined by migrants? How do religious communities, traditions, and practices shape and influence migrant experiences? Looking at case studies of Iraq and Syria, we ask how religious actors respond to sectarian conflicts producing mass displacement today. The module seeks to strike a balance between geographies of religion and the lifeworlds of migrants where religious geographies are situated.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 270 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2020/21. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.