Religion in Motion: Between Borders and Belonging

Wednesday 1 November 2023, 9 am - Friday 3 November 2023, 5 pm
The biennial conference of the Dutch Association for the Study of Religion (NGG)

From 1 to 3 November 2023 Radboud University is home to Religion in Motion: Between Borders and Beloging. Find out more about this year's edition of the biennial conference of the Dutch Association for the Study of Religion here. 

    Religiosity and mobility have been topics of research and debate for scholars working with different theoretical, methodological, and disciplinary approaches. In this conference, we explore how the study of religion might be transformed through a focus on mobility in its various forms.

    We ask, for instance: How is mobility an integral part of religious traditions? How does religion inform experiences of belonging in migratory contexts? How do political, geographical, cultural, and religious borders shape people’s lives? Their visions of the past and the future? Their experiences of home and belonging? Their aspirations and imaginations of destiny?

    We examine how state and/or religious authorities classify migrants and consider the ends towards which such categorization works. We ask how different kinds of borders influence the lives and faiths of people on the move, and consider how these modern forms of mobility have historical roots across a range of sociopolitical and geographical milieus.

    Bringing together scholars who work at the intersection of mobility and religion, this conference invites scholars of religion to converse with those working in anthropology and sociology; history, law, and political science; and the study of transnationalism, borders, migration, and refugees, to name just a few fields.

    This conference therefore aims to broaden the theoretical and methodological repertoires for future studies of religion in motion whereby mobility and religion are analyzed not as separate themes, but as critical axes of people’s religious experiences across traditions, times, and spaces, with mobility and religion acting as co-constitutive of beliefs, practices and socialities.

    We encourage graduate students, early career scholars, and established academics to use this meeting as an opportunity to think through research agendas, challenges, and inspirations for current and future research, particularly those that decenter Europe, or rather, locate Europe as only one yet powerful bulwark, goal, and trajectory in a global world. We also welcome contributions which explore less commonly explored religious and spiritual traditions, alongside those better studied.

    Topics which might be explored can include (but are not limited to):

    • Transformations in refugee religiosity
    • Terror, death and dying en route or in migratory settings
    • (Social) life, resilience, humor and joy en route or in migratory settings
    • Religious lives of migrants
    • The role of religion in forced migration
    • Technologies of migration and religiosity
    • State governance of movement and religion
    • Religion, migration, and law
    • Religion in transit
    • Transnational networks of religious institutions
    • Migration, religion, and racialization
    • The role of religion in enforcing, transcending, or overturning borders
    • The role of borders, boundaries, and crossings in religion
    • Syncretism, hybridity or polyculturalism? Theories on the creation of new religions
    • (The implications of) definitions, including “refugee” and “migrant”
    • Pilgrimage
    • Missionary activities
    • Mobile relics and material religion
    • Theology of migration, with special attention for intercultural dialogue and transnationalism
    • Migration and holy scriptures

    More information

    Wednesday 1 November 2023, 9 am - Friday 3 November 2023, 5 pm
    Contact information

    Organizing Committee Radboud University Nijmegen

    • Joud Alkorani
    • Justine Bakker
    • Jorge Castillo Guerra
    • Martijn de Koning
    • Christopher Sheklian
    • Eric Venbrux

    For questions and inquiries, reach us at: NGG2023 [at]

    The conference fee is: 75 euro (55 euro for NGG members) for the full conference and 30 euro (20 euro for NGG members) for a single day participation. There is potential funding for colleagues from underrepresented regions and in precarious situations.

    We welcome your submissions and look forward to a full, rigorous and fun conference in November 2023!