Special Issue "Religious Communities in Exile and Diaspora"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Psychology/ Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Ellen Posman
Guest Editor
Department of Religion, Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, OH 44017, United States
Interests: comparative religion; religion, diaspora, exile, and migration theory; religion, conflict, and peacemaking; religion and the environment; religion and women; religion in America; religion and the afterlife; Asian religions, with a particular emphasis on Theravada and Tibetan Buddhism; and Judaism, with a particular emphasis on Biblical and Rabbinic literature.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The focus of this special issue will be on religious communities living in exile or diaspora, how they conceive of their situation and relationship to the homeland, and unique ritual practices, communal narratives, theological conceptualizations, and institutional structures developed in exile and diaspora. Topics may include anthropological depictions of contemporary religious communities in exile or diaspora, historic representations of religious communities in diaspora or exile, analyses of literary reflections on the condition of exile or diaspora, theological constructions regarding the status and purpose of diaspora or exile, psychological or social theory as it applies to a particular religious community in diaspora or exile or to the general condition of diaspora or exile across religions and cultures, or any related methodology associated with this topic.  As such, the scope of the issue is multidisciplinary and cross-cultural, with the purpose of illuminating the nature and function of the categories of “exile” and “diaspora” as they appear in the discourse of a variety of religions and contexts.  The hope is that by bringing together research from scholars who work on differing religious societies and thought in diaspora or exile, the combination of articles in this special issue can generate insight into religious exile and diaspora more generally.

Existing literature to date often takes the form of studies about a particular religious diaspora or exilic community, or else theorization within diaspora studies with a  wider scope that includes secular communities as well as transnationalism, migration, and globalization.  Works of the first type began to appear in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s regarding religions with distinct homelands such as Judaism (e.g. Eisen 1984; Rawidowicz 1998; Ezrahi 2000), Tibetan Buddhism (e.g. Korom 1997), Santeria (e.g. Brandon 1997),  Cuban Catholicism (Tweed 1997), Sikhism (e.g. Tatla 1998), Hinduism (Vertovec 2000), and Zoroastrianism (e.g. Hinnells 2005). Works of the second type began to appear during the same timespan, perhaps beginning with William Safran’s articulation of the concept of diaspora in the first issue of the journal Diaspora (1991), as well as with works by Paul Gilroy (1995), James Clifford (1997), Robin Cohen (1997), and Nicholas Van Hear (1998). Since that time, and especially in recent years, scholars working on both types of studies have been producing a plethora of work dealing with specific religious communities including more religions and/or more specificity within a religion, as well as numerous books in the growing field of diaspora studies.  There are simply too many to choose among as a list to provide here.   Yet it remains the case that some studies are specific to a particular community, while others include much more than religious diasporas and now address transnational communities and migration more generally.  This special issue is designed to bring scholars who study particular religiously affiliated diaspora communities into conversation with one another and into conversation with those who theorize more generally within the field of diaspora studies as well as to shed light on the intersection of religious studies with diaspora studies.

Prof. Ellen Posman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Exile
  • Diaspora
  • Transnational
  • Migration
  • Homeland
  • Displacement

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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