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Sacred remittances: money, migration and the moral economy of development in a transnational African church

Garbin, David (2018) Sacred remittances: money, migration and the moral economy of development in a transnational African church. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, . ISSN 1369-183X. (doi:10.1080/1369183X.2018.1433528)

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While remittances have come to play an important part in debates about migration and development, the link between religion, migration and transnational financial flows has yet to be understood in its full complexity. Drawing upon a multi-sited ethnography of a transnational African church, this article addresses this overlooked dimension of migrant transnationalism by analysing how religious donations converted into ‘sacred remittances’ produce a moral economy of religious life shaped by a politics of belongings at various scales. The article discusses the social meaning that diasporic actors attach to religious donations sent to the homeland (the Congo) and how this compares to the practice of sending remittances to family members. The article also argues that transnational circulation of sacralised money operates within a field of meanings and practices associated with moral expectations, entitlements and differentiated regimes of value. Sacred remittances, as ‘global money’, may generate a diversity of transnational linkages between donors and recipients but they remain embedded in landscapes of status and power.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/1369183X.2018.1433528
Uncontrolled keywords: Remittances, migration, diaspora, religion, Congo DRC, Kimbanguism
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: David Garbin
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2018 12:16 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 04:17 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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