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Religion and Migration in the Black Sea Region – Edited Collection of Essays –

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Eleni Sideri and Lydia Roupakia    /   International Hellenic University

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The Black Sea region is currently being transformed from a closed sea – due to the legacy of the Cold War – to a bridge facilitating human, economic and cultural flows. The strategic importance of the Sea as a crossroads of civilizations and religions is gradually gaining wide recognition. The various types of migration from and into the region have contributed to new renegotiations of differences between “us” and “them” and have reinforced the need to (re)think, (re)vise and (re)invent definitions of belonging. In the context of these new mobilities, processes of dislocation and resettlement have also resulted in a resignification of religious practice and religious identity.

How is religious difference currently being received, interpreted, revised and represented?  How are the emergence of new religious practices and new appreciations of religiosity shaping people’s perception of boundaries, frontiers, encounters, nations and “otherness” in the Black Sea Region? Religion has functioned as a tool of identity construction and statecraft over time and throughout history. One should bear in mind that the Black Sea region represents Europe’s borders to the East and, as such, it is the space where definitions of European identity have been challenged and redefined throughout history. With this in mind, we invite insights into the sources of modern identity politics and the conditions under which communities interact creatively, or swing violently from cohabitation to conflict.

This collection of essays will address a current scarcity of academic research on the repercussion of political reform, migration and modernization in the areas surrounding the Black Sea and the pivotal role of religion in current cultural contestations taking place in this strategic region. We are also particularly interested in exploring how new mobilities have also led to an increased appreciation of the “hybridity” of culture: information technology and intractable market flows are giving birth to blended artistic forms, styles of life and linguistic registers.

We seek submissions which explore current intersections between migration and religion in the Black Sea area. Among the themes this volume seeks to address (but is not limited to them) are the following:

Ø post-socialist religious identities and European identities

Ø the function/representation/resignification of religious sites, pilgrimages and festivals

Ø old religious traditions and post-socialist religiosities

Ø minority religions

Ø immigrant communities and religious practices

Ø gendered migrations and religion

Ø religion and cosmopolitanism in the Black Sea

Ø religious art and cultural economy in the Black Sea

Ø religious encounters and Black Sea mobilities

Ø conflicts, borders and religious identities

Ø new religions in the Black Sea

Ø cultural tourism and religion

Ø religious conflict and the European Neighborhood Policy

The editors seek chapters of 8,000-10,000 words. We invite contributions from a variety of disciplines and theoretical perspective and welcome case studies that draw on the Black Sea region in the wider sense.

The deadline for submissions is July 25th . Please send abstracts (500 words maximum) and a short cv both to Eleni Sideri ( and Lydia Roupakia (