Articles on religion


Leman, J. (2015). ‘Hoe jihadisme bij ons bestrijden?’, De Gids op maatschappelijk gebied, 106 (2): 1-4.

An analysis of jihadism for Syria fighting: 1. macro and 2. micro horizons + 3. sectarian conversion. And how to combat it?

Leman, J. (2012). 'Les conversions entre l’islam et le christianisme en milieu belgo-marocain : mobilités spirituelles et glissements ethnoculturels dans un contexte postcolonial’, in Le Houérou, F. Périples au Maghreb.Voyages pluriels de l’Empire à la postcolonie (XIXe –XXIe siécle). L’Harmattan, edition:1 pages:249-264

Johan Leman constate que dans les villes du continent ouest-européen se développe un multiculturalisme qui se nourrit d’une culture des mobilités postcoloniales. Il s’attache à caractériser cette mobilité spirituelle comme un mouvement qui va d’un christianisme sécularisé vers l’islam d’une part, et, dans une moindre mesure, de l’islam vers un christianisme essentiellement évangélique, d’autre part. Son article étudie ces deux mobilités dans une ville comme Bruxelles et, plus largement, en Belgique. Pour les décrire et les comprendre, il fait appel à une interprétation socioculturelle du concept de « différance » (avec « a ») de Derrida et à la notion de sujet excessif de Rothenberg.

Leman, J., Stallaert, C. and I. Lechkar (2010). ‘Ethnic Dimensions in the Discourse and Identity Strategies of European Converts to Islam in Andalusia and Flanders, ‘ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol:36 issue:9 pages: 1483-1497. (IF publication year : 1.04) (IF most recent : 1.03).

Leman, J., Stallaert, C., Choi, P. and I. Lechkar (2010). ‘Crossing Boundaries: Ethnicity and Islamic Conversion in Belgium’, Ethnoculture (COER), vol:2, nr. 3 pages: 27-44.

Leman, J. (2008). ‘Kinship and shifting intra-family focalism among Italo-Brussels Jehovah's witnesses,’ Social compass: international review of sociology of religion vol:55 issue:3 pages: 351-358. (IF publication year : 0.21) (IF most recent : 0.11).

The author reports on the observation of the communities of Italo-Brussels Jehovah's Witnesses over a 30-year period (research in 1976, 1996 and 2005). In the 1970s, "conversion" as the means of entry into a new religious community was dominant as a theme in the Kingdom Halls. Thirty years later, it is recruitment through kin and the "vécu" of kinship relations inside the religious enclaves which has become the main objective of these communities. The author analyses the processes in the composition of the socio-cultural basis and the structure of the intra-family relations in these communities between 1976 and 2005. He also tries to develop further the social network recruitment theories on this issue, not in order to object to the recruitment prractices, but in order to show the changes that have taken place, and the appearance of "internal" cultural bias in the system.

Leman, J. (2007). 'A "Lucan Effect" in the commitment of Iranian converts in transit. The case of the pentecostal Iranian enclave in Istanbul,’ Revue des Mondes Musulmans et de la Méditerrannée (REMMM) issue:119-120 pages:101-114.

Conversions are not uncommon among transit migrants towards the West. Christian churches, above all Pentecostalism, act as enclaves, also in Islamic countries. They offer a foothold and prospects for the future, in brief: hope. The newcomer grows towards a rebirth. Given that, fundamentally, both the transit migrant and the religious community are transnationally oriented, the convert ultimately discovers a new continuity between past, present and future. The more intensively he participates in the life in his Christian enclave, the more he approaches his initial objective (i.e. migration to the West). It is a pradox like that illustrated by the parable in Luke 19:17. Hence our suggestion of a "Lucan Effect", one that naturally calls for an empirically-based, rational explanation in a scientific article.

Leman, J. and S. Onah Okechukwu (2007). 'New perspectives on "natural" death (onwu chi) among Belgo-Igbo migrants,’ in Eruegbu, P. and Uzona Ukagbu, G. The Kpim of death : essays in memory of rev. fr. prof. Pantaleon Osondu Iroegbu (Fada Kpim). Studies in African Philosophy and Culture. Trafford, edition:1st pages:60-72

In this chapter we examine how the Igbo people of south-eastern Nigeria react in the case of the challenges and perplexities associated with the death of a member of their group, especially when it occurs outside Igboland. In our cases it will concern Igbo migrant people living in Belgium between 1996 and 2006.

Roos, H. and J. Leman (2007). ‘The process of growth in Krishna consciousness and sacredness in Belgium’, Journal of contemporary religion vol:22 issue:3 pages:327-340.

The article focuses on the Hare Krishna members in Belgium. Fieldwork was carried out among the 'temple residents' at Radhadesh, those who live in its vicinity, the 'congregationalists' in the local centres, and those who are on the way of being initiated. The articles focuses on the development members undergo from 'adepts' to 'devotees', that is from 'congregationalists' to becoming full-time 'temple residents' in Radhadesh. The question we address concerns the process of members' growth in Krishna consciousness and sacredness.

Leman, J. (2006). 'Christelijke 'fundamentals' in de migratie : de zoektocht naar activerend overbruggingskapitaal,’ in Foblets, M.C. et Billiet, J. (eds.). Multiculturalisme ontleed : een staalkaart van onderzoek aan de K.U.Leuven, Leuven: Universitaire pers pages:133-152

Okechukwu Onah, S. and J. Leman (2005). ‘Cosmological and Religious Fundamentals among Igbo Immigrants in Belgium: the Way Out of Segregation’, Social Compass, vol. 52, nr. 4, 513-527. (IF publication year : 0.25) (IF most recent : 0.11).

Abstract: In a society such as Belgium, most Igbo migrants of the 1990s soon became immigrants without papers. It was only after regularization campaigns (as in January 2000 in Belgium) that a significant number of them could be regularized to stay. This means that most of them had a very difficult time in the first years of their stay in Europe. This can best be described as a situation of anonymous liminality. That is the moment when Christianity and their cosmology enter their life in Europe. These help them in their self-discovery and re-appraisal, as well as in their social reconnection. Liminality, traditional Igbo cosmology, an ethnicity profoundly mitigated by Christianity, and transnationalism are the four basic ideas for an understanding of the life practices of Igbo migrants in a Western society since the 1990s. 

Leman, J. (2003). ‘On Islam in Belgium and Western Europe: Its Official Represenation and its Internal Debate’, XIV International Amaldi Conference on Problems of Global Security, Atti dei Convegni Lincei, Rome, nr. 190, 223-232. 

Leman, J. (2003). ‘Muslims and Christians. The urgency of dialogue and collective engagement’, Kolor, Journal on Moving Communities, Antwerp, vol. 3, nr. 1: 77-90. 

Abstract: In a society such as Belgium, most Igbo migrants of the 1990s soon became immigrants without papers. It was only after regularization campaigns (as in January 2000 in Belgium) that a significant number of them could be regularized to stay. This means that most of them had a very difficult time in the first years of their stay in Europe. This can best be described as a situation of anonymous liminality. That is the moment when Christianity and their cosmology enter their life in Europe. These help them in their self-discovery and re-appraisal, as well as in their social reconnection. Liminality, traditional Igbo cosmology, an ethnicity profoundly mitigated by Christianity, and transnationalism are the four basic ideas for an understanding of the life practices of Igbo migrants in a Western society since the 1990s. 

Leman, J. (2000). ‘Minority Leadership, Science, Symbols and the Media: The Belgian Islam Debate and its Relevance for Other Countries in Europe’, Journal of International Migration and Integration, vol. 1, 3: 351-372. 

Leman, J. (1999). ‘Religions, Modulators in Pluri-Ethnic Cities: An Anthropological Analysis of the Relative Shift from Ethnic to Supra-Ethnic and Meta-Ethnic Faith Communities in Brussels’, Journal of Contemporary Religion, vol. 14, nr. 2, 217-231. 

Abstract: Within the framework of interpretation of the relationship between Muslims and Christians we can distinguish four levels. At the roots of the opposition lie elements of a social nature, worded in cultural terms, legitimised by a selective ethnocentric reading of the past, and mobilizing for “new” and “pure” values in the future. Nevertheless, there are two very important concrete challenges for cooperation: the multicultural society and world peace. 

Leman, J. (1999). ‘The sanctity of Sicilian home and friendship changing into religion-based community formations: The city of Caltanissetta at the end of the 20th century’, in Cultuur, etniciteit en migratie. Liber Amicorum Prof. Dr. E. Roosens, Leuven, Acco, 17-28. 

Leman, J. (1998). ‘The Italo-Brussels Jehovah’s Witnesses Revisited’, Social Compass, vol. 45, nr. 2, 219-226. 

Abstract: In 1976 a survey was conducted among two Italo-Brussels congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the results compared with a number of autochthonous Dutch-speaking and French-speaking control groups. Towards the end of 1996 the author put the same questionnaire to the same two Italo-Brussels congregations as part of a wider survey about allochthonous religious and social networks in Brussels. The results show how the Italo-Brussels community of Jehovah’s Witnesses has evolved from being a specific movement, which took advantage of first-generation immigration, into a community in which kinship – as a source of support and as a symbolic frame of reference – and a traditional family ideology are very much in evidence, but which henceforth will be increasingly sustained, on the one hand, by a second generation who have been born and brought up in the ‘Truth’ and, on the other hand, by a network that is based on kinship and social proximimity. 

Leman, J. and M. Renaerts (1996). ‘Dialogues at different institutional levels among authorities and muslims in Belgium’, in Shahid, W.A.R. & P.S. van Koningsveld, eds., Muslims in the Margin. Political responses to the presence of islam in Western Europe. Kok: Pharos, p. 164-181. 

Leman, J. (1993). De aantrekkelijkheid van de islam: Vlaamse moslims over hun bekering. Kultuurleven: tijdschrift voor cultuur en samenleving, 61(2), 36-43.

Leman, J. (1993). De aantrekkelijkheid van de islam: Vlaamse moslims over hun bekering. Kultuurleven: tijdschrift voor cultuur en samenleving, 61(2), 36-43.

Leman, J., Renaerts, M., Van Den Bulck, D. (1992). De rechtspositie van de islamitische praxis in België. Cultuur en Migratie, (2), 43-84.

Leman, J. (1992). Ontmoeting op het terrein met moslims in België. Onze Alma Mater, (2), 129-152.

Leman, J. (1992). Vlaamse moslims over hun bekering tot de islam. Cultuur en Migratie, (2), 25-42.

Leman, J., Renaerts, M., van den Bulck, D., Boulif, M. (1992). De integratie van de islam in België anno 1993. (Leman, J., Ed.). Brussels: Cultuur en Migratie.

Leman, J. (1989). Moslimleerlingen in de godsdienstles. Kultuurleven: tijdschrift voor cultuur en samenleving, 56(4), 46-47.

Leman, J. (1987). Westerse moslim-identiteit: een goed of een kwaad voor onze samenleving? (editoriaaltekst Kris van Leuven). Kultuurleven: tijdschrift voor cultuur en samenleving, 54(1), 50-64.

Leman, J. (1979).  ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses and Immigration in Continental Western Europe’, Social Compass, vol. 26, nr. 1, 41-72. (IF most recent : 0.11).

Leman, J. (1979). ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses and Immigration in Continental Western Europe’, Social Compass, vol. 26, nr. 1, 41-72. 

Résumé: Face à sa situation de transplanté, l’immigré peut s’orienter de diverses manières: se replier sur son passé; vivre dans le présent (avec le risque du mimétisme et du conformisme) ; s’orienter vers un avenir précis. A partir d’une recherche empirique menée parmi les Témoins de Jéhovah immigrés et autochtones en Belgique, l’auteur cherche à expliquer le pourquoi de l’adhésion croissante des migrants à ce mouvement religieux. Sa thèse consiste à dire que le Mouvement de la Tour de Garde permet au migrant une possibilité de réponse à son problème d’orientation: faire un ‘choix d’avenir’ qui consolide fondamentalement son passé au moment où il traverse une crise.


Chapters in books


Leman, J. (2015). ‘Van radicalisering tot jihadisering. Een antropologische kijk,’ in Loobuyck, P. (ed.). De lokroep van IS: Syriëstrijders en (de)radicalisering. Kalmthout: Pelckmans, p. 41-59.

Radicalisation and jihadism are studied as processes. The study pays much attention to the triggers during the process: 1. radicalisation as a pre-phase for to jihadism; 2. the first trigger to jihadism: self-isolation (desaffiliation - reaffiliation, with reference to sectarisation processes); 3. a second trigger: break with family/mother and departure; 4. further radical jihadisation once in Syria.

Leman, J. (2015). ‘Belgium’s Gülen Hizmet Movement. History, Structures and Initiatives,’ in Celik, G., Leman, J. & K. Steenbrink (eds.) Gülen-Inspired Hizmet in Europe. The Western Journey of a Turkish Muslim Movement. Brussels: P. Lang; Series title: Gods, Humans and Religions.

A description of the way Hizmet is structured in Belgium.

Yilderim, E., Leman, J. (2012).
 Islam and education among Turkish Belgians. In: Broeckaert B., Van den Branden S. (Eds.), Perspectives on Islamic culture. Essays in honour of Emilio G. Platti.. Leuven: Peeters, 315-338.

Leman, J. (2009). The 'Empowering' Impact of the Internet (or the 'Virtual') on Europe's Immigrant Muslim Minorities. In: Timmerman C., Leman J., Roos H., Segaert B. (Eds.), Between Spaces: Christian and Muslim Minorities in Transition in Europe and the Middle East., Chapt. Part III. Brussels: Peter Lang, 193-201.

Onah, S., Leman, J. (2007). New perspectives on "natural" death (onwu chi) among Belgo-Igbo migrants. In: Uzoma Ukagba G. (Eds.), The Kpim of death : essays in memory of rev. fr. prof. Pantaleon Osondu Iroegbu (Fada Kpim). Studies in African Philosophy and Culture., Chapt. 4. Victoria: Trafford, 60-72.

Leman, J. (2004). L'islamophobie, une analyse partant des enregistrements au Centre de'égalité des chances et de lutte contre le racisme. In: Khader B. (Eds.), Belges et Arabes. Voisins distants, partenaires nécessaires. Louvain-la-Neuve: Presses Universitaires de Louvain.

Leman, J. (2013). ‘Gift – Wedergift – Generositeit’, in Verminck, M., Van Looveren, J. (eds.). Generositeit, Brussels, Sint-Lukas Books ASP, pp. 128-135.

An anthropological reflection on the meaning of generosity, starting from the idea of a gift and reciprocity (cf. Mauss, Lévi-Strauss and other anthropologists). Starting point of the analysis: a picture of a piece of bread in the form of a child’s head, baked by a Sicilian grandmother to obtain the recovery of her grandchild by the Saint.

Leman, J., Stallaert, C., Lechkar, I. (2013). ‘Conversion and agency: Tradition transition to and intensification within Islam,’ in Bernards, M., Buitelaar, M. (eds.). Negotiating Autonomy and Authority in Muslim Contexts. Leuven, Peeters, pp. 113-127.

With regard to the notion of agency in the context of Islam, we have stressed the necessity of broadening the liberal-progressive definition of agency. In the case of Islamic conversion in the West, the capacity to endure, to struggle, to shape the self ethically (in order to come closer to God) is just as important as the conventional interpretation of agency.


Books


Celik, G., Leman, J. & K. Steenbrink (eds.) (2015). Gülen-Inspired Hizmet in Europe. The Western Journey of a Turkish Muslim Movement. Brussels: P. Lang; Series title: Gods, Humans and Religions.

This book provides a broad presentation of Gülen's thought and practice. These issues are discussed in the first part of the book. The second part presents six case studies from countries where the name of Gülen has been attached to a great variety of social activities in the field of education, media, business, dialogue, and the support of integration and defence of human rights. These countries are Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, France, Germany, and Albania as the centre of Muslims in the Balkans. Although the participants of Hizmet are quite small in number and work in an extremekly decentralizsed way, they are among the best educated and most socially active of the Turkish-speaking communities in their countries. This is therefore an important study of a group of Muslims who cannot simply be categorized as 'conservative' of'progressive', 'pietistic' or 'political'.

Toguslu, E., Leman, J., Sezgin, I.M. (eds.). (2014). New Multicultural Identities in Europe. Religion and Ethnicity in Secular Societies. Vol. 1, in Current Issues in Islam. Leuven U.P.

How to understand Europe's post-migrant Islam on the one hand and indigenous, anti-Islamic movements on the other? What impact will religion have on the European secular world and its regulation? The new European multiculturalism calls into question the nature of boundaries between various ethnic-religious communities. Although the contributions in this volume focus on Islam, ample attention is also paid to Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism. The authors present empirical data from cases in Turkey, Germany, France, Spain, the U.K., Poland, Norway, Sweden, and Belgium, and sharpen the perspectives on the religious-ethnic manifestations of identity in the transnational context of 21st-century Europe.

Toguslu, E., Leman, J. (eds.). (2014). Modern Islamic Thinking and Activism. Dynamics in the West and in the Middle East. Vol. 2, in Current Issues in Islam. Leuven U.P.

A series of scholarly papers in relation to islamic thinking, activism, and politics in both the West and the Middle East. The reader will apprehend that Islam is not the monolithic religion so often depicted in the media or (earlier) in the academic world. The Islamic world is more than a uniform civilization with a set of petrified religious prescriptions and an outdated view on political and social organization. The contributions show the dynamics of 'Islam at work' in different geographical and social contexts. By treating the working of Islamic thinking and of Islamic activism on a practical level, the book includes innovative research and fills a significant gap in existing work.

Leman, J. (2014): (2015: 2nd and 3rd ed.). Van totem tot verrezen Heer. Een historisch-antropologisch verhaal. Kalmthout: Pelckmans.

What is the origin of the concept of 'resurrection'? When and how did it find its way to become the Christian idea of 'resurrection'? And what may be the meaning of it? An anthropological re-reading of the Bible, integrating the current state of exegetical research and current archaeology.