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Type Journal Article - Pacific Studies
Title A promised land in the diaspora: Christian religion, social memory, and identity among banabans in Fiji
Volume 35
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Page numbers 90-118
URL https://journals.lib.byu.edu/spc/index.php/PacificStudies/article/viewFile/30831/29290
THE CONVENTIONAL UNDERSTANDING of diaspora was very much pegged
to the forced emigration, dispersal, and exile of Jews living outside Palestinea
concept that is laden with religious connotations. More recently, however,
a somewhat expanded diaspora concept has been developed that is becoming
the analytic instrument of choice for a broad band of movements,
migration processes, transnational connections, and multiple identifications.
Several authors have remarked that, ever since this new diaspora concept
emerged, religion has rarely been given due consideration (Kokot, Tololyan,
and Alfonso 2004, 6). Although quite a number of more recent studies of
diaspora would seem to disprove this claim (e.g., Cohen 1997, 1999; Gilroy
1993; Gross, McMurray, and Swedenburg 1996; Pulis 1999; Tweed 1997;
Vertovec 1995, 2000; Werbner 2002), certainly there is something to the
idea. One reason for the scant attention paid to the religiOUS aspect can be
sought in the theoretical-methodological paradigm shift of the 1980s and
1990s. Thus, diaspora as a general idea, an idea ever more detached from
the religion and history of the Jews (see Dufoix 2008: 18-19), was taken up
and further developed by a conceptual repositioning within the social and
cultural sciences, one that set its sights on the systematic incorporation of
movement and mobility, speed and flows, communication and networks
into the formation of models (compare Pile and Thrift 1995, 24); in this
context, religion as a field of study was of secondary importance.

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