"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Thursday, July 31, 2014

To Live in the Age of Identity

As I've noted on here many times in the past year alone, the question of Orthodox identity seems to be a paramount one today judging by the number and quality of books on the topic that keep emerging. Next month, Ashgate will present us with another: Maria Hämmerli, University of Fribourg, Switzerland and Jean-François Mayer, eds., Orthodox Identities in Western Europe: Migration, Settlement and Innovation (Ashgate, 2014), 262pp.

The publisher gives us an overview and table of contents for this book:

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.
Contents: Introduction, Maria Hämmerli and Jean-François Mayer. Part I Migration and Settlement: Romanian Orthodox churches in Italy: the construction of the Romanian-Italian transnational Orthodox space, Suna Gülfer Ihlamur-Öner; The myth of an ideal leader: the case of the Syriac Orthodox community in Europe, Naures Atto; The transformation of social capital among Assyrians in the migration context, Soner Onder Barthoma; Orthodox churches in Germany: from migrant groups to permanent homeland, Reinhard Thöle; The ambivalent ecumenical relations among Russian Orthodox faithful in Germany, Sebastian Rimestad and Ernest Kadotschnikow; How do Orthodox integrate in their host countries? Examples from Switzerland, Maria Hämmerli; The Orthodox churches in the United Kingdom, Hugh Wybrew; Population movements and Orthodox Christianity in Finland: dislocations, resettlements, migrations and identities, Tuomas Martikainen and Teuvo Laitila; Orthodox parishes in Strasbourg: between migration and integration, Guillaume Keller; Orthodox priests in Norway: serving or ruling?, Berit Thorbjørnsrud. Part II Innovation: Not just caviar and balalaikas: unity and division in Russian Orthodox congregations in Denmark, Annika Hvithamar; Mediating Orthodoxy: convert agency and discursive autochthonism in Ireland, James A. Kapaló; The Great Athonite tradition in France: circulation of Athonite imaginaries and the emergence of a French style of Orthodoxy, Laurent Denizeau; ‘We are Westerners and must remain Westerners’: Orthodoxy and Western rites in Western Europe, Jean-François Mayer; Innovation in the Russian Orthodox Church: the crisis in the diocese of Sourozh in Britain, Maria Hämmerli and Edmund Mucha. Index.

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