Universalising religions and cultural particularisms: the effects of renewed international migration on the engagement of Gypsies/Roma/Travellers with world religions since 1989.
Acton, Thomas (2008) Universalising religions and cultural particularisms: the effects of renewed international migration on the engagement of Gypsies/Roma/Travellers with world religions since 1989. In: Sociology Looks at the Twenty-first Century: ‘From Local Universalism to Global Contextualism’ 38th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology, 26-30th June 2008, Central European University, Budapest. (Unpublished)Full text not available from this repository.
Among the changes in political and social organisation of Gypsies/Roma/Travellers in Europe after World War II, the growth of Pentecostal Christianity has been much discussed. Since the 1980s this had had a knock-on effect first of all on Catholic Christian self-organisation of Gypsies/Roma/Travellers, and to some extent on Orthodox Christian and Muslim self-organisation. At the same time international migration of Gypsies/Roma/Travellers has been boosted by up to a million Roma who have left former communist countries since 1989 to go to Western Europe, the Americas and Australasia.
The paper will discuss the way in which the renewed international migration affects religious organisation; the way in which religious networks facilitate chain migration; and the way in which different religious tendencies can build links between often very culturally different sub-ethnic groups of Gypsies/Roma/Travellers, helping to construct a pan-Romani political identity along the way. Following Hans Joas’ insistence at the last IIS Congress in Stockholm on the centrality of understandings of religious experience to the sociology of religion, it will be argued we cannot understand the institutional growth of organised religion among Gypsies/Roma/Travellers except by looking at the way in which religious experience helps individuals construct a meaningful narrative about life-events like persecution and migration.
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