In Canada, women’s bodies are often at the centre of debates about religious pluralism, multiculturalism, and secularism. Women have long played a critical role in building and maintaining diasporic religious communities and networks, and they have also been catalysts for change and transformation within religious groups and the wider community.
Relation and Resistance explores the stories and lives of racialized women connected with religious diaspora communities in Canada. Contributors from across disciplines show how women are conceptualizing traditions in transformative ways, challenging prevailing assumptions about diasporic religion as nostalgically entrenched in the past. The collected essays include chapters on feminist and queer women thinking critically about Hindu and Muslim identities and beliefs and challenging anti-Black racism and settler colonialism; Afro-Caribbean and Métis writers using literature to explore religion and belonging; the impact of women’s participation in Japanese, Chinese, and Pakistani transnational religious organizations; and marriage, migration, and gender equality in the Punjabi Sikh and Malayali Christian communities. The volume closes with a chapter exploring Métis diasporic experience and inviting readers to think critically about diasporic religion on Indigenous land.
An innovative and timely volume, Relation and Resistance reveals that a deeper understanding of women’s experiences of displacement, migration, race, and gender is critical to the study of religion in Canada.
Sailaja Krishnamurti is associate professor of religious studies and women and gender studies at Saint Mary’s University.
Becky R. Lee is professor emerita and senior scholar in humanities at York University.