While globalization and the European construction increasingly undermine the model of the nation-state in the Mediterranean world, conversions reveal the capacity of religion to disrupt, and unsettle previous understandings of political and social relations. Converts’ claims and practice are often met with the hostility of the state and the public while converts can often be perceived either as traitors or as unconscious and weak tools of foreign manipulation.
Based on first-hand ethnographical research from several countries throughout the Mediterranean region, this book is the first of its kind in studying and analyzing contemporary conversions and their impact on recasting ideas of nationalism and citizenship. In doing so, this interdisciplinary study confronts historical, anthropological, political science and sociological approaches which offers an insight into the national, legal and political challenges of legislating for religious minorities that arise from conversions. Moreover, the specific examination of contemporary religious conversion contributes more widely to debates about the delinking of religion and culture, globalization, and secularism.
1. Evangelicals in the Arab world: the Example of Lebanon; Fatiha Kaoues
2. Purifying the Soul and Healing the Nation, Conversions to Evangelical Protestantism in Algeria; Nadia Marzouki
3. Religious Mobilities in the City: African Migrants and New Christendom in Cairo; Julie Picard
4. Pentecostal Judaism and Ethiopian-Israelis; Don Seeman
5. Ambiguous Conversions: The Selective Adaptation of Religious Cultures in Colonial North Africa; Heather J. Sharkey
6. Converts at work: Confessing a conversion; Loïc Le Pape
7. Being a Black Convert to Judaism in France; Aurélien Mokoko Gampiot
8. Converting to ‘Mormonisms’ in France: a Conversion both Religious and Cultural?; Chrystal Vanel
9. Participating Without Converting, the Case of Muslims Attending St. Anthony’s Church in Istanbul; Benoît Fliche