Orthodox Identities in Western Europe : Migration, Settlement and Innovation book cover
1st Edition

Orthodox Identities in Western Europe
Migration, Settlement and Innovation

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ISBN 9781409467540
Published August 28, 2014 by Routledge
320 Pages

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Book Description

The Orthodox migration in the West matters, despite its unobtrusive presence. And it matters in a way that has not yet been explored in social and religious studies: in terms of size, geographical scope, theological input and social impact. This book explores the adjustment of Orthodox migrants and their churches to Western social and religious contexts in different scenarios. This variety is consistent with Orthodox internal diversity regarding ethnicity, migration circumstances, Church-State relations and in line with the specificities of the receiving country in terms of religious landscape, degree of secularisation, legal treatment of immigrant religious institutions or socio-economic configurations. Exploring how Orthodox identities develop when displaced from traditional ground where they are socially and culturally embedded, this book offers fresh insights into Orthodox identities in secular, religiously pluralistic social contexts.

Table of Contents


Maria Hämmerli and Jean-François Mayer


PART I: Migration and Settlement

1 Romanian Orthodox Churches in Italy: The Construction of the Romanian–Italian Transnational Orthodox Space

Suna Gülfer Ihlamur-Öner

2 The Myth of an Ideal Leader: The Case of the Syriac Orthodox Community in Europe

Naures Atto

3 The Transformation of Social Capital among Assyrians in the Migration Context

Soner Onder Barthoma

4 Orthodox Churches in Germany: From Migrant Groups to Permanent Homeland

Reinhard Thöle

5 The Ambivalent Ecumenical Relations among Russian Orthodox Faithful in Germany

Sebastian Rimestad and Ernest Kadotschnikow

6 How do Orthodox Integrate in their Host Countries? Examples from Switzerland

Maria Hämmerli

7 The Orthodox Churches in the United Kingdom

Hugh Wybrew

8 Population Movements and Orthodox Christianity in Finland: Dislocations, Resettlements, Migrations and Identities

Tuomas Martikainen and Teuvo Laitila

9 Orthodox Parishes in Strasbourg: Between Migration and Integration

Guillaume Keller

10 Orthodox Priests in Norway: Serving or Ruling?

Berit Thorbjørnsrud



PART II: Innovation

11 Not Just Caviar and Balalaikas: Unity and Division in Russian Orthodox Congregations in Denmark

Annika Hvithamar

12 Mediating Orthodoxy: Convert Agency and Discursive Autochthonism in Ireland

James A. Kapaló

13 The Great Athonite Tradition in France: Circulation of Athonite Imaginaries and the Emergence of a French Style of Orthodoxy

Laurent Denizeau

14 ‘We are Westerners and Must Remain Westerners’: Orthodoxy and Western Rites in Western Europe

Jean-François Mayer

15 Innovation in the Russian Orthodox Church: The Crisis in the Diocese of Sourozh in Britain

Maria Hämmerli and Edmund Mucha

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Maria Hämmerli is a sociologist of religion and currently researches Orthodox Churches and their migration to traditionally non-Orthodox countries. Jean-François Mayer is Director of the Institute Religioscope. He is the author of ten books and numerous articles on contemporary religion.


"By examining Orthodox migration and settlement in a historical perspective, the editors and authors of the book have managed to provide a much-needed contribution, not only to the study of Orthodoxy but toward the refinement of theoretical and methodological tools in the field of religion and migration."

- Theoni Stathopoulou, National Centre for Social Research, Athens, Greece, Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe