Dr. Jeremy Hein and Dr. Tarique Niazi, sociology, have co-authored a paper titled "The Primordial Refugees: Religious Traditions, Global Forced Migration, and State-Society Relations," which was published in International Sociology, a journal that ranks as one of the top two sociology journals worldwide. The article, the digital version of which can be accessed online, takes a rear view of the history of forced migration spanning the past 5,000 years. It particularly speaks to the "sacralization" of migration in world religions, ranging from theistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the nontheistic ones of Hinduism and Buddhism. The paper documents a wave of cross-faith empathy in contemporary society for "forced migrants" and the growing role of civil society in resettling them, a trend that is compelling European governments and governments in North America to cast about for more humane ways to address the mass suffering of millions of uprooted families from the war zones of the world. Two key findings of the paper relate to the past and present role of civil society in refugee rehabilitation and "resacralization of migration." First, it shows that civil society came to the aid of the "primordial refugees" thousands of years back in history, and today, too, it is the civil society that is in the forefront of resettling them. Second, there is a cross-faith interest in revisiting the primordial tradition of migration and even "resacralizing" it.
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