Refugees, Migrants and Religion (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 you to ways of thinking about how movement and mobility are 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.


33%: Lecture
67%: Seminar


40%: Coursework (Portfolio)
60%: Written assessment (Essay)

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.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: