Religion, Migration, and Existential Wellbeing  book cover
1st Edition

Religion, Migration, and Existential Wellbeing

ISBN 9780367552619
Published April 29, 2022 by Routledge
256 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book uses the very latest research to examine current interactions between religion, migration and existential wellbeing. In particular, it demonstrates the role of religion and religious organizations in the social, medical and existential wellbeing of immigrants within their host societies. By focusing on the role and politics of religion and religious organisations as well as the religious identity and faith of individuals, it highlights the connection between existential wellbeing, integration and social cohesion.

The book brings together researchers from various disciplines taking on the challenge to elaborate on the theme of this book from different perspectives, using different methods and theories with a wide selection of cases from various parts of the world. The value of multidisciplinary research on the role of religion in a globalised society – locally, nationally and internationally – is important for understanding the composition and potential solutions to social and political problems. Religious aspects and organisations are present in legal, political and social forms of governance and form the basis for future research on e.g. secularisation, democracy, minorities, human rights, welfare, healthcare and identity formation. These and other related topics are discussed in this book.

This book is an up-to-date and multifaceted study of how religion engages with the mass movement of peoples. As such, it will be of great interest to any scholar of Religious Studies, Migrant Studies, Sociology of Religion, Religion and Politics, as well as Legal Studies with a human right focus.

Table of Contents


Foreword by Lori Berman


Introduction: Migration, Religion and Existential Wellbeing -Theorizing the role of religion in contemporary migration and integration governance

Moa Kindström Dahlin, Oscar L. Larsson, Anneli Winell


1 Religious Freedom, Equality Rights and their Contentious Implementation: Norm Conflicts Deriving from the Chasm between International and National Human Rights

Annette Schnabel, Heiko Beyer and Kathrin Behrens

2 Religious Diversity in the Public Arena as a Cornerstone for Social Integration and the Impact of Law

Gabriele Buchholtz

3 Differentiation between Religion and Individuals? Measuring Hostile Attitudes towards Islam and Muslims in Germany

Isabell Diekmann

4 Lessons from the history - Responding to Islamophobia in Victoria and Abdul and The Sultan and The Queen

Abderrahman Beggar


5 Human rights and citizenship based claims for access to healthcare - evidence from policy makers, NGO and healthcare workers across Europe

Hannah Bradby, Adele Lebano, Sarah Hamad, Alejandro Gil – Salmerón, Estrella Durá-Ferrandis, Jorge Garcés-Ferrer, William Sherlaw, Iva Christova, Pania Karnaki, Dina Zota, Elena Riza

6 The Role of Religion and the Power of Civil Society Actors in Integration Governance in Rural Contexts

Oscar L. Larsson



7 The role of Christianity in the discourse on migration in Hungary– Christian leaders and the various interpretations of Christianity

Anna Vancsó

8 Protestant Russian congregations contributing to social cohesion in the Helsinki metropolitan area of Finland

Maija Penttilä


9 Mental Health: The Role of Religion and Spirituality

Grace Chang

10 Latin American Pentecostals in Sweden. Belief and Mistrust in Stockholm’s Urban Space

Emir Mahieddin

11 Islamic leadership and Muslim immigration: A Framework for Reflection and Analysis

Mehrnosh Lajevardi Fatemi

12 Crossing Borders, Changing Faith: how forced and voluntary migrant adolescents in Belgium describe the impact of relocation on their faith

Amy Casteel and Annemie Dillen



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Moa Kindström Dahlin is Associate Professor in Public Law at the Faculty of Law, Uppsala University. She has her basis in legal theory and has a specific interest in the interaction between law and other fields of knowledge and the relation between law and ethics, specifically questions regarding autonomy and integrity. Her work has mostly centred around mental health law but also generally on human rights for people with decreased decision-making capacity, e.g. children, elderly people and persons with mental disabilities.

Oscar L. Larsson is Assistant Professor in Military Studies at the Swedish Defence University. Larsson’s main research interest has been the political dimensions of networks and collaboration between public and private actors. His post-doc project was on integration governance in rural contexts in Sweden and the chapter in this book follows from this specific project. Oscar Larson has previously published articles on network governance and sovereign power/domination in Critical Policy Studies, Policy Studies, Regulation & Governance, Constellations, on neo-institutionalism in Critical Review and crisis management in Risk, Hazards and Crisis in Public Policy. He is also one of the editors for this volume.

Anneli Winell, is Assistant Professor in the Sociology of Religion at University College Stockholm (former Stockholm School of Theology), and earlier lecturer at the Department of Theology, Uppsala University. Her main research field concerns religion and media, with ongoing projects on integration and migration, and the relevance of "ministry calling" for identity and meaning-making among priest and pastor candidates. Winell is affiliated to CRS - the Religion & Society Research Centre, and the research program The Impact of Religion: Challenges for Society, Law, and Democracy, Uppsala University.


Wide-ranging in scope, the volume’s three core areas of focus areas are: legal and constitutional aspects of religious diversity; polycentric governance and social cohesion; and religious identities and existential wellbeing. Religion runs as a core theme through each of these areas, with careful attention paid to its fluidity and impact both as a concept and an organizing practice. Nationalism is also an important theme as diversities are constructed as threatening an often monolithic ‘us’, which is also socially constructed as a strategy of governance and exclusion. Diversity models and approaches such as multiculturalism, interculturalism and accommodation are considered, drawing on the social histories of their emergence and in some cases, decline to lend a deeper contextual framework for understanding current responses to new forms of diversity.

Lori G. Beaman, University of Ottawa, Canada