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Title: Migration and identity : the development of the Anglican Church in North-East Congo (DRC), 1960-2000
Author: Wild-Wood, Emma
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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The thesis provides a contemporary historical assessment of religious identity during periods of social change by studying in detail l’Eglise Anglicane du Congo (EAC) at the point where issues of migration and identity intersect. It argues that migration brings or hastens change by providing migrants with a new set of life experiences which, in dialogue with the old set of traditions and experiences, negotiate an altered identity. The research was largely based on quantitative data analysis from unstructured oral interviews gathered during fieldwork. The particular use of narratives and terms frequently mentioned by EAC members was studied to provide an understanding of the hydridity of corporate EAC identity and of the varying identities of different groups within the EAC. An historical background to the EAC, present on the Semeliki escarpment since 1896, is provided first. Its identity is understood as one which cohered with the values of order of ruling elite. Two patterns of post-independence migration are then analysed; migration to towns from the rural escarpment and migration from Uganda to Congo at the end of Idi Amin’s regime in 1979. During these migrations centralised ecclesiastical control was weakened, Anglicans established their church in new places, and they developed alternative versions of corporate identity by resisting and assimilating ideas and practices from their different circumstances. Rural-urban migrants tended to favour a conservative approach whilst trans-border migrants saw the EAC more as an institution offering development and freedom. In the 1980s and 1990s neighbouring denominations, Anglican revivalists, young women and youth all contributed to identity change by challenging the received EAC identity with contemporary, popular and pneumatological expressions of Christianity. Membership of the Eglise Anglicane due Congo (EAC) during migration and subsequent resettlement gave migrants a socio-religious framework that provided stability during change but also flexibility to respond to change and thus maintained unity within the EAC. The study of the spread of a church through migration, which this thesis has undertaken, presents a new way of looking at the question of popular identity within mainline denominations, and may well provide a valuable methodology for future studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available