UrbRel Workshop “Urbanity & the formation of religious groups”
How has an ‘urban way of life’ influenced the genesis of different religious and confessional groups? This June, UrbRel postdoc Martin Christ is convening a workshop setting out from this question. The working hypothesis of the workshop is that by considering the mutual formation of religion and urbanity, we can also gain new insights into the phenomenon of religious group formation(s) and find new ways to understand how, when and why, groups formed and how they were visible (or invisible) in cities. Many of the processes of group formations show that both local and trans-regional points of reference played a part, which is why the workshop takes a broad geographical view. It addresses religious group formation and urbanity in a long-term perspective and in a wide range of different settings, in order to ask:
• What are the motives of individuals gathering as groups and which (legal?) tools were used for gaining recognition? How were groups named, promoted and how did they become (in)visible in urban settings?
• Where are religious semantics and practices used for non-hierarchical segmentation, where for pragmatically relevant or irrelevant differentiation or even discrimination? Where do they intersectionally reinforce or conceal different kinds of inequality?
• How was cohesion within a group formed? What role did urbanity play in this process?
• How do religious groups relate to each other and what role does urbanity play in their (self-)definition vis-à-vis other religious groups?
• When can we speak of a group in a meaningful way?
The workshop is the kick-off of the focus group “Group Formation”, one of three foci the UrbRel group has chosen for its second funding phase until 2026. It will take place at Haus Dacheröden in Erfurt’s inner city.
Here is the complete concept note:
You can also find this information on the homepage of the Max Weber Centre: https://www.uni-erfurt.de/en/max-weber-kolleg/kolleg/recent-news/events/eventdetail/urbanity-and-the-formation-of-religious-groups
Cover image: Excepts from A Catalogue of the Severall Sects and Opinions in England and other Nations: With a briefe Rehearsall of their false and dangerous Tenents, a propaganda broadsheet denouncing English dissenters from 1647, including Jesuits, Welsh blasphemers, Arminians, Arians, Adamites, Libertines (Antinomians), Antescripturians, Soul sleepers, Anabaptists, Familists, Seekers, and Divorcers (public domain)