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09/30/2021

British Protestant Missions, Europe and "imaginary colonialism"

Capture d’écran 2021-09-30 à 18.35.17.png"This (excellent!) 2021 book is the first account of British Protestant conversion initiatives directed towards continental Europe between 1600 and 1900.

Continental Europe was considered a missionary land—another periphery of the world, whose centre was imperial Britain. British missions to Europe were informed by religious experiments in America, Africa, and Asia, rendering these offensives against Europe a true form of "imaginary colonialism".

British Protestant missionaries often understood themselves to be at the forefront of a civilising project directed at Catholics (and sometimes even at other Protestants). Their mission was further reinforced by Britain becoming a land of compassionate refuge for European dissenters and exiles. This book engages with the myth of International Protestantism, questioning its early origins and its narrative of transnational belonging, while also interrogating Britain as an imagined Protestant land of hope and glory."

Link.

09/23/2021

"God needs no defense": Evangelicals and Muslims share views

god needs.jpgYes, Evangelicals and Muslims compete, but they also do talk.

In April of 2020, leaders of the World Evangelical Alliance and Nahdlatul Ulama — including Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, Dr. Christine Schirrmacher, Dr. Thomas K. Johnson, Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf and C. Holland Taylor — established the Humanitarian Islam/WEA Joint Working Group. This volume is a product of the Joint Working Group’s Subcommittee on Jurisprudence, Human Rights and Ethics.

Founded in 1846, the World Evangelical Alliance is the largest international organization of evangelical churches, representing over 600 million Protestants and national evangelical alliances in 140 countries. It refers to the Gospel of Jesus-Christ as the main teaching, and promotes faith and evangelism through local communities.

Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) federates 90 millions of Indonesian Muslims, and develops within its ranks a movement called Humanitarian Islam, rooted in the principle of rahmah — stressing the need to contextualize and adapting Islamic teachings, while presenting Islam not as a supremacist ideology or vehicle for conquest, but rather, as one of many paths through which humans may attain spiritual perfection. Link

07/29/2021

French Secularism in Crisis ?

hijab-3434096_1920.jpg

François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire), buried in the Paris Pantheon, remarked: “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” Voltaire, invoking his chronic sense of absurdity, would be smirking at the new social harmony in France as hardcore French secularists and Muslim women in public places conceal their faces (noses, mouths, and eyes) to protect themselves from Covid-19.

Thnak you L. Ali Khan for this interesting piece boosting debate. Link

07/01/2021

Innovation and Competition in Zimbabwean Pentecostalism

walter magaya, emmanuel makandiwa, prophetic churches, africa, pentecostalism, book, bloomsbury, ezra chitando"Using the concept of a “religious market”, this volume explores how African Traditional Religions and churches within Prophetic Pentecostalism in Zimbabwe seek to attract and retain members and clients.

Chapters provide extensive coverage of two of the leading churches, namely, Emmanuel Makandiwa's United Family International Church (UFIC) and Walter Magaya's Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD)"

Innovation and Competition in Zimbabwean Pentecostalism is an important contribution to understanding the marketization of religion.

 

Link

06/24/2021

Christian Zionist religiouscapes in Brazil (Social Compass)

christian zionist,evangelicalism,brazil,social compass,manoela carpenedohe increasing appropriation by Charismatic Evangelicals of Jewish narratives, rituals, and even Zionist anxieties is now evident in many parts of the globe. Drawing on two cases, one based on a Brazilian Neo-Pentecostal church and another based on an ethnographic investigation of a ‘Judaizing Evangelical’ community in Brazil this study interrogates to what extent we can comprehend this emerging tendency within Brazilian Charismatic Evangelicalism...

 

Link

06/10/2021

Island Gospel Pentecostal Music and Identity in Jamaica and the US

Capture d’écran 2021-06-09 à 23.25.26.pngPentecostals throughout Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora use music to declare what they believe and where they stand in relation to religious and cultural outsiders. Yet the inclusion of secular music forms like ska, reggae, and dancehall complicates music's place in social and ritual practice, challenging Jamaican Pentecostals to reconcile their religious and cultural identities.

Melvin L. Butler journeys into this crossing of boundaries and its impact on Jamaican congregations and the music they make. Using the concept of flow, Butler's ethnography evokes both the experience of Spirit-influenced performance and the transmigrations that fuel the controversial sharing of musical and ritual resources between Jamaica and the United States.

A rare and important research ! Link

04/29/2021

Did Church-State separation REALLY slow down Slavery Abolition?

sd.jpgJoseph Prud'homme (Ph.D. Princeton) is the Burton Family Chair in Religion, Politics, and Culture and the Director of the Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture at Washington College in Chestertown, MD, USA.

He just released a very interesting piece of research, "Separation of Church and State, American Exceptionalism, and the Contemporary Social Moment: Viewing Church–State Separation from the Priority of Slavery"

 His main point is this :

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02/11/2021

A major book about the main French reformed church (ERF)

PkrMS01b-1.pngThis is the first work devoted to the history of the Reformed Church of France, from its rebirth in the 20th century on the ashes of the Concordant Church to the union between the Reformed and Lutherans in 2013.

This Reformed Church embodies a particular presence in the world, carried by a strong identity.

A must-read book édited by a prestigious publishing house, which hopefully may be translated in English, at least partially ! Congrats to the authors.

Link

02/04/2021

European Evangelicals in Egypt (1900-1956), Brill

coverimage.jpgThis scholarly book is the published version of a PhD dissertation submitted by Dr Samir Boulos in 2013 at the University of Zurich.

It is a well-researched attempt at understanding the interactions of three European Evangelical missions (two of them British, and one German) active in Egypt in colonial, late colonial and post colonial contexts, from a cultural studies perspective. Here are these missionary institutions :the German Sudan Pioneer-Mission, the English Mission College in Cairo (dependent on the Church of England), and the (British) Egypt General Mission.

These institutions were committed to diverse forms of missionary actions. The main aspects were education through schools, and health, both through hospitals and family health advice intended for mothers. The full book's review from Philippe Bourmaud is available here (Social Sciences and Missions, link).

Link to the book

01/07/2021

Evangelicals in Brazil and in USA : a comparative study

USA, Brazil, Bible Belt, Evangelicals, Evangelicalism, Secularization, Postcolonial studies, comparative study, sebastien fath, marcelo carmurça, emerson giumbelli, debates do NER, MercosurDebates do NER is a Brazilian biannual journal, created in 1997 on the initiative of the Center for the Study of Religion (NER), of the Graduate Program in Social Anthropology at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS).

Debates do NER is currently one of the most important vehicles for disseminating research related to the Social Sciences of Religion in Mercosur. Thanks to my Brazilian colleagues Marcelo Camurça and Emerson Giumbelli, whom I warmly thank, I had the opportunity to publish in 2020 a comparative historical study on Evangelicalism, USA vs Brazil.

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10/22/2020

Genders, Sexualities, and Spiritualities in African Pentecostalism

978-3-030-42396-4.jpgIn the last three decades, African Pentecostalism has emerged as one the most visible and profound aspects of religious change on the continent, and is a social force that straddles cultural, economic, and political spheres. Its conventional and selective literal interpretations of the Bible with respect to gender and sexualities are increasingly perceived as exhibiting a strong influence on many aspects of social and public institutions and their moral orientations.

This collection published in Chammah J. Kaunda, Genders, Sexualities, and Spiritualities in African Pentecostalism, Palgrave, 2020, features articles which examine sexualities and genders in African Pentecostalism using interdisciplinary methodological and theoretical approaches grounded within traditional African thought systems, with the goal of enabling a broader understanding of Pentecostalism and sexualities in Africa.

As usual in English-speaking synthesis, French-speaking Africa is rarely mentioned, except a chapter devoted to Congo.

Link.

10/08/2020

Sunday schools movement in France: read Anne Ruolt

Stephen Orchard, John H. Y. Briggs,Thomas E Bergler, Anne Ruolt, GSRL, sunday school, Protestantism, Evangelicalism, France, bookSunday schools were first set up in the 18th century in Protestant England to provide education to working children. Since then, the movement spread worldwide. Some very insightful researches have been conducted.

For England, let's mention Stephen Orchard, John H. Y. Briggs, The Sunday School Movement : Studies in the Growth and Decline of Sunday Schools, Londres, Paternoster, 2007.

For the United-States, see (among others) Bergler, Thomas E. The Juvenilization of American Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2012.  

The French Protestant landscape has been also impacted early on by the Sunday school movement. Thanks to  (picture), who conducted several researches on Education and Protestantism, a very complete synthesis is available: Anne Ruolt, L’École du Dimanche en France au XIXe siècle, pour croître en sagesse et en grâce, collection religion – sciences humaines, Paris, l’Harmattan, 2012.

This book would largely deserve a translation. Dr Anne Ruolt, who recently defended successfully her habilitation thesis to supervise research,  is currently part of the GSRL research team (Paris, France).

09/30/2020

Current debates within the "Black Church", USA: a needed book

719tyG6voyL.jpgIn USA, what we use to define as "Black theology" has emphasized the role of Christian faith in addressing racism and other forms of oppression, arguing that Jesus urged his disciples to seek the freedom of all peoples.

Meanwhile, the  so-called "Black church", even when focused on social concerns, has often emphasized personal piety rather than social protest. With the rising influence of white Evangelicalism, biblical fundamentalism, and the prosperity gospel, the divide has become even more pronounced.

In The Divided Mind of the Black Church (2020), Raphael G. Warnock, Senior Pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the spiritual home of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., helps us to understand the current debates within Black Protestants (mostly Evangelicals) in USA.

Link.

04/12/2020

Is Europe christian ?

ef.jpgAs Europe wrangles over questions of national identity, nativism and immigration, Olivier Roy interrogates the place of Christianity, foundation of Western identity. Do secularism and Islam really pose threats to the continent's 'Christian values'? What will be the fate of Christianity in Europe?

Whatever we may think of Olivier Roy's sometimes hasardeous prognosis on the so-called decline of radical islam, his books are always stimulating and this good one, translated by  Cynthia Schoch, is no exception.

Link.

10/30/2019

A major book on French religious minorities

9782227494855.jpgThis unprecedented work (1152p) has just been published in French (Bayard, 2019).

It brings together nearly 80 sociologists, ethnologists, anthropologists and historians.

It aims to provide a better understanding of the religious groups present in France and their recent development.
In a new approach, it offers a series of chapters each presenting in detail a religious group.

These religious "minorities" (including Catholicism) are grouped together by large denominational groups, which makes it possible to grasp the internal diversity of each of these.

Directed by Anne-Laure Zwilling, this remarkable synthesis should definitely be translated in English!

Link (in French)

11/12/2014

Eurojihad Patterns of Islamist Radicalization and Terrorism in Europe

9781107437203.jpgEurojihad examines the sources of radicalization in Muslim communities in Europe and the responses of European governments and societies. In an effort to understand the scope and dynamics of Islamist extremism and terrorism in Europe, this book takes into account recent developments, in particular the emergence of Syria as a major destination of European jihadists. Angel Rabasa and Cheryl Benard describe the history, methods, and evolution of jihadist networks in Europe (including FRANCE) with particular nuance, providing a useful primer for the layperson and a sophisticated analysis for the expert.

Read more here (link to the publisher)

09/04/2014

Religiously Oriented Parties and Democratization

religion, secularization, politics, political parties, religion and politics, routledge, italy, ireland, lucas ozzanoTo the surprise of both academics and policy-makers, religion has not been relegated entirely to the private sphere; quite the contrary. Over the last few decades, religion has begun to play a significant role in public affairs and, in many cases, directly in political systems. 

Edited by Lucas Ozzano, Religiously Oriented Parties and Democratization (Routledge, 2014) analyses in detail how religion and religious precepts inform the ideology, strategies and electoral behaviour of political parties. Working with an original and innovative typology of religiously oriented political parties, the book examines cases from different regions of the world and different religious traditions to highlight the significance of religion for party politics. Through cases studies from Italy and Ireland, Europe is not forgotten. Link

08/28/2014

A major comparative book on immigrant faith (Phillip Connor)

Canada, USA, Europe, immigration, migrants, immigrant faith, new york university press, book, religionIt is more than likely that the majority of religious attenders in the Paris area today do come from an immigrant background. Immigrant faith? It's not a footnote. It is a major aspect of contemporary religion!

Thanks to Phillip Connor, Immigrant Faith (NYU Press, 2014) is providing new comparative insights on this major topic.

It examines trends and patterns relating to religion in the lives of immigrants. The volume moves beyond specific studies of particular faiths in particular immigrant destinations to present the religious lives of immigrants in the United States, Canada, and Europe on a broad scale.

Religion is not merely one aspect among many in immigrant lives. Immigrant faith affects daily interactions, shapes the future of immigrants in their destination society, and influences society beyond the immigrants themselves. In other words, to understand immigrants, one must understand their faith.

Read more here (link).

03/12/2014

A new book on French Huguenots in Paris

517IavuA5ZL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg"How did the Huguenots of Paris survive, and even prosper, in the eighteenth century when the majority Catholic population was notorious for its hostility to Protestantism? Why, by the end of the Old Regime, did public opinion overwhelmingly favour giving Huguenots greater rights? This study of the growth of religious toleration in Paris traces the specific history of the Huguenots after Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685."

Let's thank Professor David Garrioch for this new synthesis:

 The Huguenots of Paris and the Coming of Religious Freedom, 1685-1789 (Cambridge, 2014). 

02/12/2014

"French evangelical networks before 1555: proto-churches?"

reformation,protestantism,france,jonathan reid,huguenots"Over eight hundred Reformed churches sprang into existence in France between 1555 and 1562. Their advent occurred after a thirty-five year period of buildup, during which evangelical doctrines gained adherents throughout the kingdom and local networks formed out of which those churches would coalesce. (..) why and how these conventicles grew and then suddenly metamorphosed into well-organized churches remains largely a mystery"

Thanks to Jonathan Reid, this mystery is solved now. In a Open edition full text version now available, let's read his contribution "French evangelical networks before 1555: proto-churches?", in Philip Benedict, Silvana Seidel Menchi & Alain Tallon (ed.), LA RÉFORME EN FRANCE ET EN ITALIE, Ecole Française de Rome, 2007 (p.105-124).

 

 

10/06/2013

An amazing South Sudan refugee's testimony published in France

south sudan,france,naomi baki,le cerf,sébastien fath,marie taurand,sophie porteil,gbaya,refugees,asylum status,islam,christianityThis is a book to remember. In Je suis encore vivante (transl, "Still Alive"), Mrs Naomi Baki, a young mother and refugee from South Sudan, shares a unique story of survival, from deep South Sudan to France, crossing Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Turkey and Greece, where she stayed for almost 10 years. This is a heart-wrenching story of redemption, from bondage (forced conversion into Islam), to freedom and full refugee status (10 years card residency) granted by France.

For historians, woman's right advocate, social activists, and every reader keen to learn a "bigger-than-life" story of Hope in the midst of persecution and misery, this amazing book (link) is a must-have.

Just edited by the French respected publisher Le Cerf (2013), with the much valuable help of Marie Taurand and Sophie Porteil, this book is not yet translated in English. But it will come! 

For being lucky enough to know the author, Mrs Baki, let's say she is also a wonderful and convincing speaker, particularly fluent in English (her mother tongue along with Gbaya, her tribal language).

10/02/2013

Regulating religion in Europe: a French author to read

jean-paul willaimeAs the French (and Canadian) debate is still quite polarized by "laïcité" (laicity) and the challenge of public regulation of religion, let's have a wider look and remind (among others) the works of Jean-Paul Willaime (link to his page).

A worldwide leading sociologist of religion, Director of studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE, Religious Studies section) and former president of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion (ISSR), visiting professor at the College of Europe, Dr Jean-Paul Willaime is always worth being read.

He has authored many articles in English, including "European Integration, Laïcité and Religion" (link).

09/10/2013

A much needed book to understand Health and Wealth Gospel

41KBXB17RpL._SY346_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_.jpgThe CEIA, located in Lognes, near Paris, is the biggest Evangelical meeting in France. Last year, the main theme was Health and Wealth Gospel. Not surprising!

This growing movement, mostly popular within some Charismatic circles, is taking roots in France. The two biggest Evangelical congregations in Paris, which are Charisma Eglise Chrétienne and Paris Centre Chrétien, could be described as linked to Prosperity Gospel.

This is why Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel (Oxford University Press, 2013), authored by Kate Bowler, is not only needed in America. It is also a great tool for a better understanding of a world-wide movement much more diverse than what most people think. Good review to be read here (link).

09/06/2013

The burqa affair in Europe: a major comparative study

9781409470656.jpgIn recent years, the wearing of the full-face veil or burqa/niqab has proved a controversial issue in FRANCE and in many multi-cultural European societies. Focussing on the socio-legal and human rights angle, The Burqa Affair Across Europe (Ashgate, 2013), edited by Alessandro Ferrari and Sabrina Pastorelli (linked to my GSRL research team)  provides a useful comparative perspective on how the issue has been dealt with across a range of European states as well as at European institutional level.

In so doing, the work draws a theoretical framework for the place of religion between public and private space. With contributions from leading experts from law, sociology and politics, the book presents a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to one of the most contentious and symbolic issues of recent times. Link to the publisher's website.

04/01/2013

Multiple Modernities and Postsecular Societies

9781409444121.jpgThe French like big concepts, with a capital letter, and ONE definition, once for all. Modernity, Liberty, Equality, Republic... Inherited from an Imperial past, a Republican model filled with messianism and a Catholic culture (centralized and absolute), this mindset  is still around, but it is less and less prevailing.

Excellent news! Which does not mean we favor a relativist approach, far from that. But a healthy and ballanced thinkink requires that concepts and frameworks should always be put into perspective and into context. One of the scholars who has helped to reach a more nuanced and dewesternized view on Modernity is Schmuel Eisenstadt, who edited in 2002 a very important book on multiple modernities

Good news: this globalized and dewesternized view on current world changes is reassessed in a new collective research just released by Ashgate. Its title: Multiple modernities and postsecular societies. (click here to continue)

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02/18/2013

Studying religion and society, Sociological Self-Portraits

phil zuckerman,titus hjelm,routledge,jean-paul willaime "How do you study religion and society? In  Studying religion and society, edited by Phil Zuckerman and Titus Hjelm, some of the most famous names in the  field explain how they go about their everyday work of studying religions in the field. They explain how the ideas for their projects and books have come together, how their understanding of religion has changed over the years, and how their own beliefs have affected their work."

Among them, French sociologist Jean-Paul Willaime (GSRL) explains, from page 175 to page 185, how he came to study protestantism in a Catholic and Secular context. A must read!  


01/28/2013

Religion as communication, God's talk

9781409435235.jpg"Why do Gods persist in contemporary society? Religious revival and vitality all over the world contradict the vision of continuing declining of belief. This linear process of eclipse of the sacred in modern society has been proved wrong. Religion indeed is an expert system competent in ultimate meanings of human being and social order. "

Professor Enzo Pace is pleading for a more integrative approach of religion drawing from systems theory to consider religion as a very powerful (and unique) means of communication between the visible and the invisible.

A very stimulating book published by Ashgate (2011)

06/16/2012

Atheism and Secularism: more and more studied

europe,france,atheism,secularism,approching religion,religioscopeFor quite a long time, atheism and secularism were understudied. Not anymore.

While Religioscope devoted a big article in French on this issue this year, a new review devoted to these topics just appeared in 2012: its name is Secularism and non religion

Last but not least, let's remind the very interesting issue of the open access e-journal Approching religion (vol 2, n°1, 2012). Theme  "The New Visibility of Atheism in Europe".

10/12/2011

A rare insight on a French Evangelical "hub"

Book on Vaux-sur-Seine.jpgIn demographic terms, Evangelicalism in France amounts to a third of all French Protestants.

In terms of practicing Protestants, however, the rate is very different. Around two thirds (if not three quarters) of practicing Protestants in contemporary France are Evangelicals.

But lots of research still needs to be done in order to know better these French born-again citizens.

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10/04/2011

Forthcoming: the New Protestant France

4001140137.jpgAfter a year-long process, let me proudly announce that La nouvelle France protestante (The New Protestant France) will be released this month!

In this big volume, written by 22 contributors, the whole new French protestant landscape will be described at length, with maps, data (including a big global IFOP survey), in-depth analysis.THis "must-have" is published by Labor-et-Fides, a strong Swiss-based publisher.

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