Yonatan Gez et al., "Butinage: The Art of Religious Mobility" (U Toronto Press, 2021)


Based on comparative ethnographic research in four countries and three continents, Butinage: The Art of Religious Mobility (U Toronto Press, 2021) explores the notion of "religious butinage" as a conceptual framework intended to shed light on the dynamics of everyday religious practice. Derived from the French word butiner, which refers to the foraging activity of bees and other pollinating insects, this term is employed by the authors metaphorically to refer to the "to-ing and fro-ing" of believers between religious institutions.

Focused on urban, predominantly Christian settings in Brazil, Kenya, Ghana, and Switzerland, Butinage examines commonalities and differences across the four case studies and identifies religious mobility as existing at the meeting points of religious-institutional rules and narratives, social norms, and individual agency and practice. Drawing on anglophone, francophone, and lusophone academic traditions, Butinage is dedicated to a dialogue between ethnographic findings and theoretical ideas, and explores how we may rethink common conceptions of religious normativity.

Irene Promodh is a Ph.D. student in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research focuses on mobile forms of Christianity across the Indian Ocean, particularly among migrant communities circulating between their places of work in the Arabian/Persian Gulf and their home societies in South India. She is especially interested in questions of caste, denominational difference, and religious conversion among Christian diasporas in the Indian Ocean world.

Byung Ho Choi is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History & Ecumenics, focusing on World Christianity and history of religions at Princeton Theological Seminary. His research interest lies in Indonesia and the Muslim dominant regions of Southeast Asia, from the postcolonial approach to Christianity and the coexistence of various religions, including the study of Christianity and the Islamic faith in a Muslim dominant society that includes challenges of ethnic diversity.

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Irene Promodh

Irene Promodh is a PhD student in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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