Diaspora has become a key term in both religious practice and the analysis of religions from a global perspective, a lexical frame linking reflections about collective identifications, migration, territory, imagination, and memory. As a term that is both one of social practice and one of scholarly analysis, its use requires special care. At the simplest level, analytical attempts to define “diaspora” refer to three issues: (1) a group's dislocation from a perceived homeland, (2) the incomplete assimilation of that group in a host society, and (3) the ongoing relations of a group with a place and people left behind—ranging from a minimal relation of sentiments to a maximal one of remittances of money and goods or even frequent bodily returns. This entry builds from this ...

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