Religion and Migration

International Workshop and Symposium “Religion and Migration: Current Challenges in Science and Politics”, September 24th – 25th, 2015

The topic of migration and religion has been one of the central areas that the research centre focused on during the second term. The international workshop and symposium constituted a core part of the engagement with this topic. The purpose of Regina Polak's event was to identify and discuss research questions linked to the current theme centered around “Religion in the Context of Migration” - prompted by short speeches and statements given by representatives of the areas of science, politics and religious communities.

On the first day of the workshop recurring interrogations engaged themselves with the tenaciously persevering dualisms of “us”/”the others” also present in the scientific discourse, the well-established concepts of integration and inclusion as well as secularisation and secularity, the questions and issues concerning the second and third generation of immigrants, the role of the media with regards to this topic and the extent to which religion-related sciences may or should impinge on political decision-making processes.

The public panel discussions on the first evening entitled “Human Dignity – Migration as a driving force for a more just and peaceful continent?” took place among Cardinal Francesco Montenegro, Ulrike Lunacek and Vice Principal Heinz Faßmann and was moderated by Renata Schmidkuntz. It centred around the events and questions linked to the topic of asylum and migration together with the dramatic site that is Lampedusa.  

On the second day representatives of different religious and confessional groups presented the respective experiences made in history with regards to migration and how these experiences could potentially be brought to fruition in the light of the current challenges.

The findings of the symposium were published as the forth issue of the Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society (JRAT 1/2017) in December 2016 under the title “Religion and Migration”.