Category: Concepts & Theory

Urban and religious change: A comparative perspective

Jörg Rüpke. Religious change and changes of urbanity (summarizing urban practices and reflexive urban imaginations) must be analysed in their mutual dependency to give better accounts of both, urban history and religious history. Many crucial developments in local and trans-local religion and religions need to be reviewed with regard to their specifically urban conditionality. At the same time, such urban conditions and the very discourses and practices that defined conditions as urban have not been “independent variables” for religious change but are themselves in part the outcome of religious practices and agents.

Digging, uncovering, unearthing: Activist and academic approaches to Irish Magdalene Laundries

How did aspects of gender, faith and class interplay in Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries? And which position do they occupy in Irish discourse today? The article charts both activist and academic approaches to the Magdalen Laundries in the past decades, and how aspects of gender, faith and class interplayed in them.

Subjective and Objective Urbanity?

Mariia Orobinska, a former fellow with us in Erfurt, approaches the concept of urbanity from the angle of paradigmatic analysis in linguistics. It establishes the relationship between subjective and objective aspects of urbanity, which is viewed as a unique feature of a given place and characterized through “charm”, “atmosphere”, and “aesthetics”.

The Waqf: Where Religion Meets Urbanity

Our former fellow Elyse Semerdijan on the waqf in Aleppo as spaces where religion and urbanity intersect. Recognizing pious endowments – waqf/awaqf – varied across the Islamic World. The waqf, in its most basic definition, is a registered piece of income-generating property donated to a religious foundation, a charitable cause, or to one’s heirs in perpetuity.

From a letter to an oppressive symbol – notes on >Z<

Our fellow Claudine Moulin on the metamorphoses of the letter >Z< in the current war on Ukraine. At first glance, Z is thus doubly coded in the context of the Ukraine invasion – once in a pro-Putin / pro-Russian context, once in the context of its interpretation as a symbol of Russian totalitarianism and a war of aggression in violation of international law.

Hanafi Law and Urbanization in Mughal India

Hanafi law, one of the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence, which was widely practiced in the Ottoman Empire, was also the imperial legal system of the Mughal Empire (1526-1857) in South Asia. Hanafi law governed property rights of Muslims and non-Muslims alike in the rural and the urban spheres of the Mughal Empire. Unfortunately, research on Hanafi law in Mughal India, in its theoretical and practical perspectives, remains virtually inexistant in current historiography. In this blogpost, I sketch the salient features of the relation between law and Mughal urban practices.

Emotional Urban Apes – A Different Take on Religion and Urbanity

At the core of the research group Religion and Urbanity at the Max Weber Centre in Erfurt lies a keen interest in the ascription of value to different life forms relating to city and civic life, that is urbanity. Yet such valorisations do not necessarily presuppose one’s physical presence in a city. One may live a perfectly happy life in a villa rustica at a safe distance from interactions with the ‘masses’, but nevertheless – and presumably for that very reason – attributing urbanity to one’s own lifestyle by assuring oneself that true civil life is not found within the city, but either outside it or in the outskirts of it at the Sans souci.

Royal Funerals and Saints’ Topography in Merovingian Paris

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…

Urban religion and objects

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 – Hartmut Rosa on Sara Keller’s new book

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…

Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search