In search of the Promised Land: the role of religion and spirituality in the lives of transnational Israeli migrants in Greater Vancouver
AbstractStudies of religious activities of immigrants in Western society have usually focused on their experiences in religious institutions. This ethnographic exploratory study is based on detailed interviews with eleven Israeli immigrants residing in Greater Vancouver who speak about their religious and spiritual experiences both inside and outside of institutional religion. The aim of this study is to examine the various religious and spiritual activities of these immigrants as well as the role these play in their lives. The findings suggest that most study participants appear to engage in these practices for reasons that involve but also transcend religion and are related to their Israeli identity. Being transnational migrants, the Israeli interviewees also use their spiritual and religious practices as means to construct their transnational identities. This study suggests that religious and spiritual activities of transnational migrants should be examined in the context of their relationships with their homeland.