Slaby, Jan; Mühlhoff, Rainer – 2019
This chapter builds on anthropological studies that examine the role of religious practice in the construction of belonging within the context of migration. We expand on such studies by focusing on how religiously and spatially mediated modes of being in and relating to the world become embodied in the life worlds of the members of two diasporic religious groups in Berlin – a German-Turkish Sufi circle and a West-African neo-Pentecostal church. Emphasis is placed on affective religious routines and related emotional experiences that relate the followers of these groups to their wider socio-material urban environment. We argue that, notwithstanding their distinct histories of settling in Berlin’s cityscape, both groups engage in bodily focused and affect-driven practices as a way to establish their members’ moral, social, and spatial senses of belonging. A comparative analysis across religious affiliation is fruitful for understanding the similarities and differences in religious groups’ practices of place-making and “claiming territory” in urban settings. A methodical attention to affect in this regard opens up specific possibilities to apprehend the dynamics of spatial belonging in the context of migration with regard to its bodily, translocal, transtemporal, and moral dimensions.