SETTLER LECTURES ON RELIGION AND MIGRATION
By: Mandisa Magwaza
The Urban Future Centre (UFC) held its 16th weekly seminar at Steve Biko Campus on Friday.
The informative presentation explored the intersection of religion, migration and trans-nationalism on what can be done for people to integrate more.
Guest speaker Dr Federico Settler, the head of sociology and the religion programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) said, “It takes as a starting point, the idea that when people move, they take their religion and cultural identities with them.”
He mentioned that the focus is on the preliminary reflections at the start of the three-year, multi-sited research project with selected migrant faith communities in three cities- Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.
“I am now developing a new post-graduate programme in religion and migration that will focus on how religion influences migration patterns and identity. I was moved by the work of the Urban Future Centre, particularly its engagement with the social life of the city which is why I am here today,” said Settler.
Town and Regional planning B-tech student Kgabo Makgatho, who is also an Urban Future Centre member said, “There’s a concept that says people make places and places don’t make people. This presentation confirms that people change certain areas to resemble they culture.”
He added that his interest is knowing more about the city of Durban, comparing it with other cities and to create a community development programme with the intention of making vulnerable people realise the things that can change their lives for better.