Conference Report: Ambivalences of Religion

The report by Mirjam Wien on the 2023 annual conference “Ambivalences of Religion”, organised by Elisa Iori and Jörg Rüpke in November 2023 has now been published on H-Soz-Kult. You can access the full version by following this link: <>.

Wien puts forward that

In the final discussion, led by Elisa Iori and Jörg Rüpke, participants stressed the stimulating variety of disciplines and topics with a multitude of conceptual frameworks. At the same time, this pointed towards the challenges of interdisciplinarity which requires a common terminology or at least an awareness of different understandings. This ties in well with the observation that ambivalence is already well-established in linguistics – although less so in the study of (religious) history. Participants agreed on the need to differentiate levels of ambivalence when investigating them and called for flexible models sensitive to the respective contexts – whose analytical importance was especially underlined from a post-colonial perspective. In the face of a broad thematic scope, the need for both justifying the relevance of a topic and making implicit comparisons explicit was emphasized. Participants critically examined Zygmunt Bauman´s alleged link between modernity and totalitarianism. They raised methodological questions whether social cohesion or conflict should serve as a starting point of inquiry and directed the attention towards a tolerance for ambivalence which can reach tipping points in times of growing tension.

Mirjam Wien

Cite this blog post
urbrel (2024, January 18). Conference Report: Ambivalences of Religion. Religion and Urbanity: Reciprocal Formations. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from

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1 Response

  1. January 22, 2024

    […] 15-17 November 2023, the „Religion and Urbanity“ group held its annual conference on “Ambivalences of Religion“ at the Max Weber Centre in Erfurt. After a welcome by the organisers Elisa Iori and Jörg Rüpke, […]

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