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

Religion in the European Refugee Crisis explores the use of faith during the crisis

University of Chichester


IMAGE: This is University of Chichester's Professor Graeme Smith, Professor of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies. view more 

Credit: University of Chichester

The role of religion in the recent European refugee crisis has been detailed in a new book by a group of world-leading academics.

Religion in the European Refugee Crisis is the first of its kind to explore the use of faith in the mass-movement, which was the continent's biggest influx 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, 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.

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



DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-67961-7

Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-67960-0

Graeme Smith: Professor of Public Theology

Graeme Smith is Professor of Public Theology in the Department of Humanities whose research investigates questions and issues relating to the public role of religion in society. He has also written extensively on public and political issues including journal articles on Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Red Toryism and Reinhold Niebuhr.

Professor Smith has published two books: 'A Short History of Secularism' and 'Oxford 1937: The Universal Christian Council of Life and Work'. He is the co-ordinator of the BIAPT Public Theology strand and was one of the founding editors of the journal 'Political Theology', of which he remains an editor emeritus.

Ulrich Schmiedel: Lecturer in Systematic Theology

Ulrich Schmiedel is Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany. Combining systematic theology with sociology of religion and philosophy of religion, his research concentrates on contemporary Christianities. Recently, he published 'Elasticized Ecclesiology: The Concept of Community after Ernst Troeltsch'.

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