"Church networks, sanctuary, and migrant activism in Europe: preliminary ideas and findings"

Open Lectures Winter 2016/17

  • Date: Nov 17, 2016
  • Time: 14:15 - 16:00
  • Speaker: Katharyne Mitchell (University of Washington, Seattle)
  • Katharyne Mitchell is Professor of Geography at the University of Washington. She is the author of Crossing the Neoliberal Line: Pacific Rim Migration and the Metropolis, and editor of Practising Public Scholarship: Experiences and Possibilities Beyond the Academy. Mitchell’s current research, on migration and the spaces of sanctuary in Europe, is made possible by fellowships from the Brocher Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation.
  • Location: MPI-MMG, Hermann-Föge-Weg 11, Göttingen
  • Room: Library Hall
"Church networks, sanctuary, and migrant activism in Europe: preliminary ideas and findings"

For more details please contact esser(at)mmg.mpg.de.

On September 5, 2015, Pope Francis stood in St. Peter’s Square and called on the European religious community to offer sanctuary to some of the tens of thousands of migrants fleeing war and devastation in the Middle East and Africa. Indicating his support for actual material assistance, and not just symbolic or spiritual help, he noted that the Vatican itself would extend aid and living accommodations to two families. “May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take in one family,” he said. In this talk I explore some of the critical questions that are raised by the provision of sanctuary by faith-based organizations. These include how political power is exercised and negotiated through the spatial claims, rhetoric, alliances, and conflicts associated with giving and receiving sanctuary. They also include what the sanctuary movement can tell us about the practices and boundaries of democratic citizenship—for example, the legal and practical ramifications of a Christian contestation of sovereign (EU and nation-state) judicial systems.

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