Introduction: Charting a Crisis
In the Introduction, Ulrich Schmiedel and Graeme Smith chart the context for the contributions to this compilation by scrutinizing the controversies stirred up by the conceptualization and characterization of the current situation of Europe as a crisis. Are the refugees in crisis? Are the receivers in crisis? Whose crisis was—or indeed is—it? While religion is a resource for refugees on the flight, Schmiedel and Smith argue, the public and political discourse about the current refugee crisis tells a decidedly different tale: it is a discourse about the receivers rather than a discourse about the refugees. In this discourse, religion appears as radically ambiguous, causing both social cohesion and social conflict in times of turmoil.