HomeBetween mobility and sedentarity: Pentecostal and Evangelical communities in Belgium in a context of religious globalisation

Between mobility and sedentarity: Pentecostal and Evangelical communities in Belgium in a context of religious globalisation

Entre mobilité et sédentarité : des communautés pentecôtistes et évangéliques en Belgique à l’heure de la globalisation religieuse

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Published on Friday, November 15, 2013 by Elsa Zotian

Summary

Both in Belgium and in Europe, debates about immigration are generally dominated by Islam which tends to overshadow the current religious pluralisation in our societies. However, since several decades multiple forms of religious recomposition have been taking place, in particular within the Christian field, where a new dynamic can be observed as a consequence of migration and missionary movements, such as Pentecostal and Evangelical groups. During this study day, on 14 November 2013, we aim to discuss the religious mutations that have occurred in Belgium during the last decades, through different forms of mobility: migration, intra-European mobility and the transformation of native Churches. In particular, we will examine how the tension between local community and globalisation, mobility and sedentarity, local belonging and transnational networks are brought about by these Churches.

Announcement

Argument

Both in Belgium and in Europe, debates about immigration are generally dominated by a problematized Islam which tends to overshadow the current religious pluralisation in our societies. However, since several decades multiple forms of religious recomposition have been taking place, in particular within the Christian field. In contrast with the decline of the traditional churches, a new dynamic can be observed as a consequence of migration and missionary movements (South-North and West-East), such as Pentecostal and Evangelical movements.

Pentecostalism(s) can be considered the main form of religious transnationalisation of the last century, with spectacular expansion in Africa and Latin America from the end of the 1960’s on. Due to this phenomenon, the centre of gravity of Christianity seems to have moved South in the last decades. But when we take a closer look, we are compelled to consider this centre as mobile and translocal as a consequence not only of incessant circulation of pastors, the networking logics of these churches and the increasing use of online and mobile communication technology.

Although the most dramatic recent transformations are largely due to intra-European or transnational migrations, European Pentecostal communities have also been influenced by campaigns of international evangelists or the retreat of North-American missionaries. Whether Belgian or migrant Churches, all have their peculiar origins and references, which make the current evangelical landscape in Belgium both diversified and atomised. As a result, it should be properly considered a plurality of Pentecostalisms and evangelical groups, which is irreducible to a homogeneous whole.

As such, religious practices and discourses differ due to both doctrinal diversity (Pentecostal, Evangelical, Charismatic, Neo-Pentecostal, etc.) and to the place given to geographic and social otherness, which one hopes either to conquer or to connect to.

During this study day, we aim to discuss the religious mutations that have occurred in Belgium during the last decades, through different forms of mobility: migration, intra-European mobility and the transformation of native Churches. In particular, we will examine how the tension between local community and globalisation, mobility and sedentarity, local belonging and transnational networks are brought about by these Churches.

  • How does religious globalisation, to which these communities participate, reflect on the local level?
  • How do transnational networks, or the symbolic or imaginary reference to Christian universalism, recompose the belonging to the local, to the global society, and to the Protestant world?
  • Between will for independence and quest for recognition, does religious proselytism build up walls or does it enable to cross spatial and social boundaries?
  • How do churches and believers interrelate in this pluralizing Belgian Protestant field (collective dynamics, competitive logics, communitarian enclosure…)?
  • Which reactions and relations do Pentecostal and Evangelical Churches generate in society on the level of neighbourhood, institutions, or politics?

The logics of mobility and sedentarity of these Churches may be approached from different angles (strategy of implementation, religious recomposition, request to local recognition, transnational networks, etc.), levels (individuals, Churches, community) and temporalities (day-to-day life, religious and migratory carriers, institutions). Special attention will be given to interactions between Churches, with other religions, and with society at large.

This study day is open to researchers in all disciplines and/or from all parts of the country. It aims to draw up the major tendencies in the Pentecostal and Evangelical landscape in Belgium and to set up a study group to enhance regular meetings with researchers who are working on Pentecostal and Evangelical movements in Belgium.

Programme

9h45 Study day welcome

1. Materiality and spirituality

Chair: Sarah Demart (ULg/CEDEM)

  • 10h00 Jean-François Husson (ULg/CRAIG)
    La régulation étatique des communautés confessionnelles en Belgique: conséquences pour les communautés pentecôtistes

Discussant: Louis-Léon Christians (UCL/RSCS)

  • 10h30 Jelle Creemers (ETF)
    Church, State, and Money: Belgian Free Evangelical Churches in dilemma

Discussant: Jean-François Husson (ULg/Craig)

11h00 Pause

  • 11h15 Barbara Menier (ULB/CIERL)
    Les lieux de culte bruxellois comme indicateurs de dynamiques multiples

Discussant: Louis-Léon Christians (UCL/RSCS)

11h45 Discussions

12h15 Lunch break

2. The experience of « out-place » and missionary reformulations

Chair: Jelle Creemers (ETF)

  • 13h30 Antony Artigas (UCL/Laap)
    Etre, avoir été et devenir : ce que croire veut dire chez les Tsiganes évangéliques de Belgique

Discussant: Sarah Demart (ULg/CEDEM)

  • 14h00 Elisabeth Mareels (UCL/Laap)
    Des portes de la ville à la conquête des nations. Spiritualisation du local et du global chez les pentecôtistes brésiliens de Bruxelles

Discussant: Paul Dibudi Way Way (CUPEI)

14h30 Discussions

15h00 Pause

3. Religious missions and collective organisations

Chair: Elisabeth Mareels (UCL/Laap)

  • 15h15 Sarah Demart (ULg/CEDEM)
    Pastorales congolaises en Europe et pastorale congolaise en Belgique: la difficile formation d'une plateforme chez les "élites" de la diaspora

Discussant: Jelle Creemers (ETF)

  • 15h45 Paul Dibudi Way Way (CUPEI)
    Migration et mission : Perspective théologique. Étude sur la contribution missionnaire Africaine en Europe. Cas de la Belgique

Discussant: Sarah Demart (ULg/CEDEM)

16h15 Discussions

16h45 Final conclusion

17h00 End

Places

  • ULg / Campus du Sart-Tilman – Bâtiment 31 / Salle du Conseil de la Faculté de Droit et de Science Politique - Boulevard du Rectorat 7
    Liège, Belgium (4000)

Date(s)

  • Thursday, November 14, 2013

Keywords

  • mouvements pentecôtistes, mouvements évangéliques, migrations, missionaires, mobilité et sédentarité, Belgique

Contact(s)

  • Sarah Demart
    courriel : sarah [dot] demart [at] ulg [dot] ac [dot] be
  • Elisabeth Mareels
    courriel : elisabeth [dot] mareels [at] uclouvain [dot] be

Information source

  • Elisabeth Mareels
    courriel : elisabeth [dot] mareels [at] uclouvain [dot] be

To cite this announcement

« Between mobility and sedentarity: Pentecostal and Evangelical communities in Belgium in a context of religious globalisation », Study days, Calenda, Published on Friday, November 15, 2013, https://calenda.org/266452

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