© 2016

Migration, Transnationalism and Catholicism

Global Perspectives

  • Dominic Pasura
  • Marta Bivand Erdal

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Dominic Pasura, Marta Bivand Erdal
    Pages 1-20
  3. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Migration, Transnationalism and Catholicism

  4. Encounters, Difference and Transformations

  5. Negotiating Unity and Diversity

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 337-366

About this book


This book is the first to analyze the impacts of migration and transnationalism on global Catholicism. It explores how migration and transnationalism are producing diverse spaces and encounters that are moulding the Roman Catholic Church as institution and parish, pilgrimage and network, community and people. Bringing together established and emerging scholars of sociology, anthropology, geography, history and theology, it examines migrants’ religious transnationalism, but equally the effects of migration-related-diversity on non-migrant Catholics and the Church itself. This timely edited collection is organised around a series of theoretical frameworks for understanding the intersections of migration and Catholicism, with case studies from 17 different countries and contexts. The extent to which migrants’ religiosity transforms Catholicism, and the negotiations of unity in diversity within the Roman Catholic Church, are key themes throughout. This innovative approach will appeal to scholars of migration, transnationalism, religion, theology, and diversity.


Mobilities Diaspora Diversity Integration Pilgrimage Ritual worship

Editors and affiliations

  • Dominic Pasura
    • 1
  • Marta Bivand Erdal
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social and Political SciencesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Peace Research Institute OsloOsloNorway

About the editors

Dominic Pasura is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow, UK. 

Marta Bivand Erdal is Senior Researcher at Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway, and a Human Geographer. 

Bibliographic information


“This rich and diverse collection explores not only how the Catholic Church is reaching out to migrants but how migration is transforming the Church. As it highlights the pilgrim nature of Christian mission, it explores how the Church communities around the world are building bridges instead of walls, creating communion amidst division and bringing life out of death.” (Fr. Daniel G. Groody, csc, University of Notre Dame, US)   

“Migration, Transnationalism, and Catholicism: Global Perspectives provides an eye-opening account of how migration is transforming the Catholic Church and how migrant communities change by interacting with the Church. New rituals, different actors, and enhanced political and social roles come vividly to light in these close accounts of how the Church reinvents itself to accommodate new groups and to respond more effectively to long-established communities.  Taken together, readers gain an invaluable snapshot of the important place of the Catholic Church in Europe today.” (Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College and Harvard University, USA)

“The stereotype of Catholicism as a static, archaic, top-down religion is shattered forever by this fascinating collection of essays which explore its flows, crossings and entanglements in the contexts of modern migrations.” (Linda Woodhead MBE, Lancaster University, UK)

“Missionaries, monks and religious orders traversed the world long before there were nation-states. Now, descendants from their converts in the Global South are making their presence felt in the Global North. The contributors to this fascinating book have shown how encounters between Catholics of multiple origins have engendered profound changes in liturgy, worship and religious practices. For their part, the editors have made a compelling case that the migration of Catholics from the Global South has provided new possibilities for engagement and the resolution of difference.” (Robin Cohen, University of Oxford, UK)