Global anthropology of religions II

Seminar 2019 by Erwan Dianteill and Verónica Giménez Béliveau

All world religions are now affected by widespread movement of commodities, information and people. It is indeed extremely rare for a religion to be limited to a single country. Religions follow migration routes and spread through social networks. Most migrants retain their beliefs and ritual practices in migration, disseminate them in the host country and promote conversions. Regardless of the physical movement of people, digital networks provide everyone with the information they need to join a religious movement. But religions are also in part the vehicle for migrations, since migrations sometimes have a religious origin, whether it is an international expansion linked to proselytism, transnational religious solidarity networks or religious conflicts. Transnational beliefs, rituals and communities are therefore both the effects and the causes of globalization.

The research developed in this seminar aims to study these processes of circulation, internationalization and transformation of religions in the world. This is not a completely new phenomenon, but it has accelerated in the 21st century. The perspective adopted will be that of the social sciences, and more particularly that of comparative anthropology, in dialogue with sociology, history, geography and the human sciences. No cultural area or religious tradition will be privileged, precisely because the ambition of the program is to show the differences and commonalities in the processes typical of high religious modernity. It therefore includes researchers working in cultural areas that are sometimes very distant: Americas, Europe, Africa, Africa, Asia, Pacific. Prophetic religious traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) occupy a decisive, but not exclusive, place in the research scope of the program. The exchanges and confrontations of scriptural monotheisms with nonprophetic religions in West Africa, Latin America and Asia will be of particular interest to us.

Seminar sessions