Borderland Religion: Ambiguous practices of difference, hope and beyond, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Borderland Religion

Ambiguous practices of difference, hope and beyond, 1st Edition

Edited by Daisy L. Machado, Bryan S. Turner, Trygve Eiliv Wyller


176 pages

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pub: 2018-06-11
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Borderland Religion narrates, presents and interprets the fascinating and significant practices when borders, migrants and religion intersect. This collection of original essays combines theology, philosophy and sociology to examine diverse religious issues surrounding external national borders and internal domestic borders as these are challenged by the unstoppable flow of documented and undocumented migrants. While many studies of migration have examined how religion plays a major role in the assimilation and integration of waves of migration, this volume looks at a number of empirical studies of how emergent religious practices arise around border crossings.

The volume begins with a detailed analysis of the borderland religion context and research. The aim is to bring an eschatological interpretation of the borderland religion, its impact and significance for migrants. Themes include a critical analysis of how religion has formatted Europe; empirical studies from the US/Mexican border and Southern Africa; an overview of the European refugee crisis in 2015; editors’ account of borderland religion from the perspective of citizenship studies.

Contributions of scholars from a broad range of disciplines ensure a careful analysis of this highly topical situation. The volume’s interdisciplinary profile will appeal to scholars and students in religious studies, migration studies, theology and citizenship studies.

Table of Contents



1. Traces of a Theo-Borderland, Daisy Machado, Bryan Turner and Trygve Wyller

Part I: Borderland challenges

2. On the Border, By the Sea, Mike Seifert

3. Res Publica Christiana: Europe’s Three Religious Borders, Rosario Forlenza and Bryan Turner

4. "Singing the Lord`s songs in a foreign land." Migration, Citizenship and Religion in South Africa, R. Simangaliso Kumalo

Part II: Borderland religion practices

5. Santa Muerte: A Transgressing Saint Transgresses Borders, Daisy L. Machado

6. To move or not to move! Queering Borders and Faith in the context of diverse sexualities in Southern Africa, Lilly Phiri and Sarojini Nadar

7. Touching and Contamination: What the Xenophobes Want to Avoid Reflections from a Congolese Borderland in South Africa, Trygve Wyller

8. A Post-Colonial Perspective on Religion and Migration, Federico Settler

Part III: Siding with the powerless

9. Religion-Making in the Border Space and by Border Land, Hans-Joachim Sander

10. The boy on the beach: The Photographic Event that Contested the Violence of European Governmentality, Mads Peter Karlsen, Bent Meier Sørensen and Kaspar Villadsen


11. Impacting Religions, Impacting Societies, Daisy Machado, Bryan Turner and Trygve Wyller

About the Editors

Daisy L. Machado serves as Professor of Church History at the Union Theological Seminary in New York. Her scholarship focuses specifically on United States Christianities. A native of Cuba and raised in New York, she has published and lectured intensively on border issues, especially the US/ Latin-American.

Bryan S. Turner is one of the world’s leading sociologists of religion and he is founding Director of the Institute for Religion, Politics and Society at the Australian Catholic University, Sydney. He is also the Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Social Pluralism and Religious Diversity in Potsdam University, Germany. His research interests include globalisation and religion, religious conflict and the modern state, and human rights and religion.

Trygve Wyller is a Professor of Contemporary Theology and the Studies of Christian Social Practice at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo, Norway and Honorary Professor at the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He has published on migration, ethics and ecclesiology both from a dogmatical, spatial, and phenomenological perspective.

About the Series

Religion, Resistance, Hospitalities

Civic groups, churches, and ministries are globally among the most willing and active in the assistance and advocacy of refugees and migrants. Innumerous projects, camps, and activist practices are often the first line of resistance to increasingly restrictive policies.

These practices are located on all continents and in all localities with visible and contested migration. Yet so far, these practices have only rarely been researched and academically interpreted, even if they, on many occasions, have had a significant impact and significance, both locally and internationally. One might say that the resistance practices and their contexts represent the most visible and influential opposition to the politics of closed borders and deportation.

Documenting, analyzing, and interpreting different kinds of resistance and challenging practices – both historical and contemporary – is the aim of this new series. In order to achieve that, the series will take an open and interdisciplinary approach. It invites scholars from the fields of religious studies, sociology, criminology, anthropology, philosophy, history, theology, and related disciplines to submit and participate in the series.

The themes comprise:

  • religion, migration, and politics
  • religion, resistance, and citizenship in a migration context
  • methodological issues when working on the margins of civil society
  • theories of resistance practices
  • how resistance impacts religion itself
  • intersectionality and gender perspectives

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General