Decolonization and Religion in the French Empire

in French Politics, Culture & Society
Author:
Giuliana Chamedes University of Wisconsin at Madison chamedes@wisc.edu

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Elizabeth A. Foster Tufts University elizabeth.foster@tufts.edu

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Scholarly attention to decolonization in the French Empire and beyond has largely focused on the political transitions from colonies to nation-states. This introduction, and the essays in this special issue, present new ways of looking at decolonization by examining how religious communities and institutions imagined and experienced the end of French Empire. This approach adds valuable perspectives obscured by historiographical emphasis on French republican secularism and on the workings of the colonial state. Bringing together histories of religion and decolonization sheds new light on the late colonial period and the early successor states of the French empire. It also points to the importance of international institutions and transnational religious communities in the transitions at the end of empire.

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