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Migration with a mission: geographies of evangelical mission(aries) to post communist Albania

Brickell, Claire (2013) Migration with a mission: geographies of evangelical mission(aries) to post communist Albania. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Drawing on eight months of in-depth qualitative research, this thesis examines the geographical trajectories of Evangelical missionaries as they migrate to, and embed themselves in, Albania. Identifying how movement is inherent to what it means to be a missionary, I draw together and extend literature from social and cultural geography, migration studies, sociology, geopolitics and missiology to forge new insights into ‘migration with a mission’. Moving beyond largely historical accounts of missionary lives, this thesis provides a contemporary and intimate portrait of what actually goes in to being a missionary, within the context of migration. It contends that a tendency to allow class, work and economic wealth to organise research has meant that the full implications of participants’ religious identities have at times been underdeveloped within migration scholarship. The thesis argues for the importance of addressing this issue, and traces the migration trajectory, from the pre-departure decision to migrate, and the choice of mission destination, to the challenges of missionary life once in Albania. In doing so it examines how missionaries’ world-views, beliefs and imaginaries extend, as well as complicate, commonplace ideas found in literature around religion and migration, geopolitics, transnationalism and home. In addition to revealing the multiple spaces and scales of missionary life unaccounted for within current research, the thesis demonstrates that while missionaries could be considered exceptional, these deeply geographical actors should not be made exempt from greater empirical and theoretical exploration.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Claire Brickell
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Supervisor: Mercer, Claire

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