Orthodox Christianity as a transnational religion: theoretical, historical and comparative considerations
SourceReligion, State and Society
Google Scholar check
MetadataShow full item record
In this article I analyse Orthodox Christianity as a transnational religion. In the first section I develop a theoretical argument concerning the relationship among diaspora, transnationalism and Orthodoxy. Seen through these lenses, transnationalism represents a newfound situation connected to the epochal shift from empires to nation-states. I then give a historical overview of demographic trends which shows that in the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries millions of Orthodox emigrated to North America and Western Europewhile large Orthodox groups were created in the USA by the early twentieth century, the majority of Orthodox immigrants to Canada, Australia and Western Europe are post-1945 arrivals. I then offer a brief overview of the situation of Orthodox transnationalism in the post-Soviet space since 1989, and argue that in contrast to that situation, it is the experience of migration that is most accurately captured by the label of religious transnationalism. Lastly, I conduct an initial comparison of North American and European experiences. The current fragmentation of Orthodox jurisdictions reflects the creation of autonomous church organisations or groups of parishes that extend the jurisdictions of Mother Churches into the host states. I contemplate the consequences of religious transnationalism for future developments. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.