Contested Hospitalities in a Time of Migration: Religious and Secular Counterspaces in the Nordic Region, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Contested Hospitalities in a Time of Migration

Religious and Secular Counterspaces in the Nordic Region, 1st Edition

Edited by Synnøve Bendixsen, Trygve Wyller


216 pages

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Hardback: 9780367222109
pub: 2019-11-14
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This book explores the duality of openness and restriction in approaches to migrants in the Nordic countries. As borders have become less permeable to non-Europeans, it presents research on civil society practices that oppose the existing border regimes and examine the values that they express. The volume offers case studies from across the region that demonstrate opposition to increasingly restricted borders and which seek to offer hospitality to migrant. One topic is whether these practices impact and transform the Nordic Protestant trajectory. The book considers whether such actions are indicative of new sensibilities and values in which traditional categories and binaries are becoming less relevant. It also discusses what these practices of hospitality indicate about the changing relationship between voluntary organizations and the Nordic welfare states in the time of migration. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology, anthropology, and religious studies with interests in migration, civil society resistance and social values.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Contextualized Hospitalities: Migrants and the Nordic Beyond the Religious/Secular Binary

Synnøve Bendixsen and Trygve Wyller

Part 1: Exploring the Nordic Context

2. Religious Civil Society and the National Welfare State: Secular Reciprocity versus Christian Charity

Lars Trägårdh

Part 2: Religious Traditions, Values and New Restrictions

3. Defending the Endangered Nation: Nordic Identitarian Christianism in the Age of Migration

Cathrine Thorleifsson and Anders Ravik Jupskås

4. Beacons of Tolerance Dimmed? Migration, Criminalization and Inhospitality in Welfare States

Maartje van der Woude, Katja Franko and Vanessa Barker

5. Emergency Care Between State and Civil Society: The Open Clinic for Irregular Migrants

Kaspar Villadsen

Part 3: Reconfiguring Migrantscapes in Religious and "Secular" Nordic Civil Society

6. "We Can Teach Swedes a Lot!" Experiences of In/hospitality, Space Making, and the Prospects of Altered Guest-Host Relations among Migrant and Non-migrant Christians in the Church of Sweden

Kristina Helgesson Kjellin

7. Hospitality, Reciprocity, and Power Relations in the Home Accommodation of Asylum Seekers in Finland

Paula Marikoski

8. What about No-bodies? Embodied Belonging, Unspecific Strangers, and Religious Hospitality in Norway

Helena Schmidt

9. Intertwined Hospitalities in a Danish Church

Laura Bjørg Serup Petersen

10. Between Belonging and Exclusion: Migrants’ Resilience in a Norwegian Welfare Prison

Dorina Damsa

11. The Significance of the Individual Vocation: Encountering Living Civil Society Agents in Northern Norway and Southern Sweden

Kaia Schultz Rønsdal


Synnøve Bendixsen and Trygve Wyller

About the Editors

Synnøve Bendixsen isAssociate Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen, Norway. She is the author of The Religious Identity of Young Muslim Women in Berlin and the co-editor of Egalitarianism in Scandinavia; Critical Anthropological Engagements in Human Alterity and Difference; and Engaged Anthropology.

Trygve Wyller is Professor of Christian Social Practice at the University of Oslo, Norway. He is the co-editor of Borderland Religion and The Spaces of Others - Heterotopic Spaces, and the co-author of Reformation Theology for a Post-Secular Age.

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