Professor Valentina Napolitano‘s new book Migrant Hearts and the Atlantic Return has just been published by Fordham Press.

Read a recent review of Napolitano’s book published in Marginalia.

Napolitano's book coverDescription from the book cover:


Migrant Hearts and the Atlantic Return examines contemporary migration in the context of a Roman Catholic Church eager to both comprehend and act upon the movements of peoples. Combining extensive fieldwork with lay and religious Latin American migrants in Rome and analysis of the Catholic Church’s historical desires and anxieties around conversion since the period of colonization, Napolitano sketches the dynamics of a return to a faith’s putative center. Against a Eurocentric notion of Catholic identity, Napolitano shows how the Americas reorient Europe.


Saba Mahmood, University of California, Berkeley:

“Napolitano’s book is a rich ethnography of the historically fraught relationship between the Vatican and its Latin American flock. In this moment of heightened anxiety about immigration and shrinking church following in Europe, Napolitano deftly tracks the fissure between communitas and otherness that haunts European Catholicism today. Told through the lives of Latin American immigrants to Italy, this wonderful book shows us what it means to live a faith that is losing hold of its civilizational mission.”

Updated May 18, 2016: Added Review from Marginalia