This case study focuses on the question of how Paris acquired metropolitan significance as early as the 6th and 7th centuries through the presence of rulers and important saints, although the city did not historically occupy a prominent position among the cities of Gaul and was hardly larger than an unfortified suburb of Rome or Constantinople in the Merovingian period. In these two centuries, a close topographical and symbolic connection of residence, royal burial and veneration of saints emerged, which is constitutive for the dynamic development of Paris throughout the Middle Ages…
Category: Concepts & Theory
by Jörg Rüpke. The summer school “Roman rituals: dynamics, topography and objects: Introduction to Roman religion through the prism of its materiality” – co-organized by the “Religion and Urbanity” group in Erfurt with the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, La Sapienza, Rome, and the Université catholique de Louvain in cooperation with the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, the Ecole française de Rome, the Academia Belgica and the Museo Nazionale Etrusca Villa Giulia in September 2023 – has addressed the questions of urbanity as being reflected in and constitutive for religious objects.
Architecture can induce resonance, but the effect remains unpredictable: here’s what we learned from the discussion between Hartmut Rosa and Sara Keller at the occasion of the Sara Keller’s book launch of Architektonische Resonanz. Das Mausoleum des indischen Sufi-Meisters Shah Vajihudin Alvi published with Schnell & Steiner…
Podcast of a lecture by Sara Keller in which she examined the question of the wide-ranging effects of global mobility and exchange on Indian societies and cities. The audio was recorded at the lecture series on “Global Exchanges”, organised by Elisa Iori and Mateusz Fafinski.
After decades of doubt about the nature of the disease that caused the Black Death, the identification in 2011 of Yersinia pestis in a 14th-century London cemetery – and, most importantly, the revelation of its genetic proximity to current forms of the bacterium – closed that (sometimes harsh) debate, and demonstrated beyond all doubt the main role of paleogenomics in the future studies of historical epidemics, especially plague. However, the role of historians has not diminished with the arrival of this new protagonist in the field of disease history. On the contrary, the need for on-going multidisciplinary dialogue has become undeniable and mandatory, if the ultimate goal is effectively to advance knowledge about historical epidemic phenomena…
Four new entries have been added to the UrbRel glossary, in some cases with accompanying videos by the authors
Out now: “Monasticism and the City in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages” by Fafinski & Riemenschneider (CUP)
In their new book, Fafinski and Riemenschneider reevaluate the relationship between monasticism and the city in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages in the period 400 to 700 in both post-Roman West and the eastern Mediterranean, putting both of those areas in conversation.
Aiming at sharpening a heuristic grid for the study of the mutual formation of religion and urbanity, the focus of the conference lies with concepts of religion that address material, socio-spatial, temporal, and power-related issues with a view on religious complexity in general and religious ambivalences in particular. The ultimate aim is to better grasp the entanglement between religion and urbanity and the ways urban and religious practices and ideas can change through the interferences of these internal tensions.
Our former fellow Enrico Piergiacomi analyses a small fragment of Epicurus’ correspondence. Its an intriguing moment where religion and urbanity intersect. The philosopher’s reasoning was based on a theology that allowed to imagine the Epicurean school as a divine settlement, or ‘sacred body’, as well as on a conception of the civic and economic relationship that tries to recreate in the human city the same blessedness experienced by the. Economy and spirituality seem to coalesce a single, peaceful whole.
During the last winter term, our fellow Anne Murphy (UBC Vancouver) took over the hosting of our UrbRel podcasts, this time speaking to Kristine Iara and Enrico Piergicacomi. Enjoy finding out what they will take to that lonely island!
In February 2024, the UrbRel group together with the SpatioTemporality group at Erfurt university is organising an international conference on urban Co-Temporalities. The conference focuses on multiple temporalities within an urban environment that appear to coexist. It investigates the question of co-temporalities in the urban setting and asks whether such a concept could prove useful for analyzing the connectivity between co-extensive spaces.
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. The workshop will take place in June in Erfurt.
The peer-reviewed, open access database of the UrbRel group, published by De Gruyter and edited by Susanne Rau and Jörg Rüpke, has been updated with five new articles.
Our 2022 annual conference was planned as an interdisciplinary event of with innovative format including three parts: a theoretical part on conceptual tools widely used by the KFG, a World Café and lightening talks. It took place in Ettersburg castle (Weimar) and continued on the results of two summer workshops. The conference looked at the concept of urbanity and its possible variations. How do we live (together) in dense urban spaces? How has urbanity been defined so far, how can we contribute to better grasp and describe it?
Following the 2022 annual conference on “Urbanity – History, Concept, Uses”, we are delighted to publish the first entires of the UrbRel glossary. More entries will follow during 2023, for now we are starting with more space-oriented terms from the first funding phase.