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New book the first to examine the role of religion in European refugee crisis

Religion in the European Refugee Crisis

THE role of religion in the recent refugee crisis of Europe has been examined in depth in a new book by a University of Chichester Professor alongside other internationally-renowned academics.

Religion in the European Refugee Crisis is the first book to explore the ways in which faith has shaped the development of the recent refugee crisis, the continent’s biggest movement of people since the Second World War. The book, published by Palgrave, investigates the crisis from a variety of viewpoints, with contributions from scholars from different regions of Europe and different faith commitments.

University of Chichester lecturer Professor Graeme Smith, below, who writes on social, public, and political theology, coedited the book with Ulrich Schmiedel of Ludwig-Maximilians University in Germany. He said: “Religion is radically ambiguous, simultaneously causing social conflict and social cohesion in times of turmoil.

“Christianity, for example, has been used as a force for both good and bad - by the Church to raise public awareness of the refugee crisis, and also by far-right groups to challenge other faiths. I hope this book will deepen our understanding of the crisis.”

The book, a collection of essays, combines sociological, philosophical, and theological accounts of the crisis to investigate how religion has been employed to call both for the elimination and the enforcing of the walls around Europe. Scholars also assess faith both as a problem and a promise from the perspectives of all three Abrahamic faiths, before offering innovative approaches to the study of migration in Europe.

University of Chichester's Professor Graeme Smith, Professor of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies

Julie Clague, a lecturer in Catholic Theology from the University of Glasgow, said: “This collection of essays unpacks the complex ways that religion is implicated in Europe’s so-called migrant crisis. The effect is to show the enduring imprint of religion on politics and culture across Europe, and to remind us of religion’s dual capacity to open hearts and to close minds.”

To read more about Religion in the European Refugee Crisis, including a list of contributing authors, go to For more about Professor Graeme Smith and his research at the University of Chichester visit