Diaspora by design? : multiple allegiances and belonging in contemporary global Catholicism
Title: Diaspora by design? : multiple allegiances and belonging in contemporary global Catholicism
Author: GALLO, Ester
Citation: Diaspora : a journal of transnational studies, 2010, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 51-73
ISSN: 1044-2057; 1911-1568
The article explores the semantic and experiential meanings of diaspora within the context of global Catholicism. Drawing from research conducted in Italy, the United Kingdom, and Turkey with the reformist movement known as the Neocatechumenal Way (NCW), the analysis delves into the broader question of how the refashioning of global religions is transforming the relation between people, places, and belonging and is contributing to the emotional, practical, and organizational dimensions of diaspora. The discussion first delves into the role of new missionary subjects in cementing a new proximity between the world Catholic population and Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern holy centers of Catholicism. Second, it draws from current definitions of diaspora to consider how a diasporic identity is constructed by dispersed NCW communities in daily lives and rituals. The analysis goes beyond the dimensions of ethnicity and migration, and claims the need to reassert the importance of religious case studies in our understanding of contemporary diaspora. The case of the NCW holds relevance here, insofar as it unravels how a reformist movement, by gaining progressive institutionalization within the Catholic Church, is also undermining some of its consolidated features by creating renewed cartographies of religious belonging. The article argues that the traditional semantics of diaspora—those developed in religious paradigms—deserve renewed attention in the social sciences in order to map ongoing transformations in world religions, and the attendant shifting identifications that characterize even more institutionalized religions like Catholicism.
Special Issue on Religion in Diaspora: Cultures of Belonging, first published in Fall 2016
Type of Access: openAccess
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