Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

In the Hands of God

How Evangelical Belonging Transforms Migrant Experience in the United States

Johanna Bard Richlin



Not in-store but you can order this
How long will it take?


Princeton University Press
24 May 2022
"How evangelical churches in the United States convert migrant distress into positive religious devotion

Why do migrants become more deeply evangelical in the United States and how does this religious identity alter their self-understanding? In the Hands of God examines this question through a unique lens, foregrounding the ways that churches transform what migrants feel. Drawing from her extensive fieldwork among Brazilian migrants in the Washington, DC, area, Johanna Bard Richlin shows that affective experience is key to comprehending migrants' turn toward intense religiosity, and their resulting evangelical commitment.

The conditions of migrant life-family separation, geographic isolation, legal precariousness, workplace vulnerability, and deep uncertainty about the future-shape specific affective maladies, including loneliness, despair, and feeling stuck. These feelings in turn trigger novel religious yearnings. Evangelical churches deliberately and deftly articulate, manage, and reinterpret migrant distress through affective therapeutics, the strategic ""healing"" of migrants' psychological pain. Richlin offers insights into the affective dimensions of migration, the strategies pursued by evangelical churches to attract migrants, and the ways in which evangelical belonging enables migrants to feel better, emboldening them to improve their lives.

Looking at the ways evangelical churches help migrants navigate negative emotions, In the Hands of God sheds light on the versatility and durability of evangelical Christianity."
Imprint:   Princeton University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9780691194981
ISBN 10:   069119498X
Pages:   272
Publication Date:  
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Johanna Bard Richlin is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Oregon.

Reviews for In the Hands of God: How Evangelical Belonging Transforms Migrant Experience in the United States

"""A needed contribution. . . . Richlin’s ethnographic and qualitative research [are] both engaging and heartening.""---Philip Letizia, Reading Religion"

See Also