Shifting religions and cultures in London's East End

Dodsworth, Francis; Vacchelli, Elena and Watson, Sophie (2013). Shifting religions and cultures in London's East End. Material Religion, 9(1) pp. 86–112.



This article considers the ways in which well-established “traditional“ religious communities-particularly Christianity but, to a lesser extent, Islam and Judaism-attempt to construct and minister to religious communities in east London in an age of super-diversity, multiculturalism, and globalization, where religious attendance and affiliation is in no way determined and cannot be taken for granted. We focus particularly on the ways in which religious communities seek to form and stabilize attachments to their worshipers in the context of the significant demographic, economic, and social flux that characterizes east London. The construction of religious communities is an essentially active and ongoing process of work which involves particular sets of practices of worship, social and organizational elements, and attachments to the buildings themselves. Ultimately, the article concludes that the mechanisms devised to practice faith, spread the word, and form attachment between worshipers and their community extended far beyond matters of identity or even religious belief: those religious groups that were able to assemble durable communities did so by forming an assemblage that was at once liturgical, material, organizational, and social.

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