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Religious Conversions in the Mediterranean World

Religious Conversions in the Mediterranean World Edited By Nadia Marzouki and Olivier Roy Palgrave Macmillan, August 2013

While globalization and the European construction increasingly undermine the model of the nation-state in the Mediterranean world, conversions reveal the capacity of religion to disrupt, and unsettle previous understandings of political and social relations. Converts’ claims and practice are often met with the hostility of the state and the public while converts can often be perceived either as traitors or as unconscious and weak tools of foreign manipulation.

Based on first-hand ethnographical research from several countries throughout the Mediterranean region, this book is the first of its kind in studying and analyzing contemporary conversions and their impact on recasting ideas of nationalism and citizenship. In doing so, this interdisciplinary study confronts historical, anthropological, political science and sociological approaches which offers an insight into the national, legal and political challenges of legislating for religious minorities that arise from conversions. Moreover, the specific examination of contemporary religious conversion contributes more widely to debates about the delinking of religion and culture, globalization, and secularism.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
Introduction; Nadia Marzouki
1. Evangelicals in the Arab world: the Example of Lebanon; Fatiha Kaoues 2. Purifying the Soul and Healing the Nation, Conversions to Evangelical Protestantism in Algeria; Nadia Marzouki 3. Religious Mobilities in the City: African Migrants and New Christendom in Cairo; Julie Picard 4. Pentecostal Judaism and Ethiopian-Israelis; Don Seeman 5. Ambiguous Conversions: The Selective Adaptation of Religious Cultures in Colonial North Africa; Heather J. Sharkey 6. Converts at work: Confessing a conversion; Loïc Le Pape 7. Being a Black Convert to Judaism in France; Aurélien Mokoko Gampiot 8. Converting to ‘Mormonisms’ in France: a Conversion both Religious and Cultural?; Chrystal Vanel 9. Participating Without Converting, the Case of Muslims Attending St. Anthony’s Church in Istanbul; Benoît Fliche Conclusion; Olivier Roy Index

Authors

Olivier Roy (1949) is a Senior Researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (since 1985) and a professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (since 2003). He headed the OSCE’s Mission for Tajikistan (1993-94) and was a Consultant for the UN Office of the Coordinator for Afghanistan (1988). His field works include Political Islam, Middle East, Islam in the West and comparative religions.

Nadia Marzouki is a Research Fellow at the European University Institute, in the ReligioWest Programme. She received her PhD in political science from Sciences-Po, Paris in 2008. She has been a Postdoctoral fellow at the Council on Middle Eastern Studies, Yale Univeristy (2008-2010), and a visiting scholar at the University of Berkeley (2004-2005) and at Princeton University (2005-2006). Her work examines public controversies about Islam in Europe and the United States, and about Evangelical Christianity and religious freedom in North Africa.