Category: Concepts & Theory

Sacred City Intersections: Superiority-Inferiority Complexes in Sites of Amritsar, India

Be it Mecca, the Vatican City, Varanasi, or Amritsar: even while cities acquire the status of sacrality particular to a specific religious group, they continue to harbour pronounced inter- and intra-religious dynamics within and outside their circumscribed boundaries. Such phenomena require a multiscalar and intersectional lens of analysis…

Citification and Its Contents – What I owe to Robert A. Orsi

The title of this post is an outspokenly playful plagiarism of the English translation of Freud’s Das Unbehagen in der Kultur (1930), i.e., “Civilization and Its Discontents”. Likewise, the story of my developing spatial-critical approach to the historical study of urban religion can be said to have started with a plagiarism. What is a plagiarism, though? And is it so bad?

UrbRel Workshop “Metamorphoses of Urbanities” 22./23.06.22

How do we live together in dense urban spaces? This is the big question – in today’s urbanised world as well as in historical urban networks. Evidently, people have given very different answers to that question on sunny places and in dark shelters. Ways of living urban lives change quickly across time or groups. This is what our workshop seeks to explore.

Map of Paris in Early Middle ages

The Same Spaces Tell Different Religious Stories. Several Considerations on Cospatiality in Paris around 1300

The following considerations have arisen in the context of research into the religious and social contexts of religious writing around 1300. The search for “co-spatiality,” for “equality in space”, has its roots in socio-religious conflicts in the city of Paris, which in the first two decades of the fourteenth century led to the use of state and ecclesiastical power, including force and violence, by the Inquisition…

Religion and Urbanity in Hell? A Satirical Description of London from 1729

When we think of London today, we might think of the many opportunities this provides. A global and cosmopolitan metropolis, that has much to offer to people from all walks of life: tourists come to marvel at Big Ben or Buckingham Palace, people looking for work relocate to the capital to work in business or media and artists hope to find new inspiration and audiences in one of the most important cities of Europe…

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