The workshop seeks to explore how religious place-making in Europe emerges from the ways in which new migrants change or redefine their ideas about belief, ritual, locality and sacred space.
In the last decade, due to processes of globalisation, large numbers of new migrants have come to Europe from different parts of the world. Migrants can be seen to privilege religion within the process of place-making as they re-configure religious ideas, symbolisms, practices and organisations in the service of their transcontinental relations and their local embeddedness. Often churches, mosques, shrines, temples and other places of worship function as markers of place-making, yet their meaning and significance as linchpins in processes of diasporic religious emplacement may change considerably through migration and adaptation. In addition, Europe also shows that religious place-making by migrants can be the site of contestation and conflict, turning it into a delicate and complex process. This workshop seeks to explore how religious place-making in Europe emerges from the ways in which these migrants transport and introduce religious ideas, practices and sacred objects from one place to another, while simultaneously changing or redefining their ideas about belief, ritual, locality and sacred space in the process. In addition to 'internal' changes, differences and even conflicts about religious place-making, the workshop investigates experiences of migrants in Europe with regard to the ways in which religious place-making may also lead to 'external' conflicts and contestations in a specific locality. In particular, the workshop is interested in the question of the shifting interdependencies between place-making, locality and religion in the production of diasporic religious identities in Europe. It seeks to understand the importance of these interdependencies for the travelling of religious authorities, believers (such as in pilgrimages), material (videos, books), relics and even spirits, but also ventures to investigate religious emplacement as a contested process in present-day Europe.