Category: Personal Reflections

Attitudes, Atmospheres, Aspirations: Erfurt’s squares

Can we perceive Erfurt’s urbanity on its squares? In this hope, we hunted for perceptible atmospheres, attitudes and aspirations while other Erfurters went shopping, picked up their children or enjoyed the sun. The working hypothesis of our research group on “Religion and Urbanity” is that urbanity1 can be defined as a “way of life that emerges because of the size, density, diversity, mobility, instability, and transparency of a settlement or the people living there” (Rau 2020).2

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…

Finally, a Long-Awaited Research Trip to France!

Throughout most of my time as a doctoral student, I have been living and studying in the United Kingdom, where I am in a co-tutelle arrangement with Durham University. Most of this time has also unfortunately been spent under travel restrictions, which made it difficult to travel from the United Kingdom to mainland Europe…

The Urban and Religious Fabrics of Public Ludic Games – Vol 2

Part two of the conversation between our fellows, Vanina Kopp and Richard Lim, on their research on public ludic games and their cultural and historical context. This time they are speaking about the urban environment of public spectacles, lay confraternities in France, Roman spectators and the fluidity of ludic acitivties and acts of devotion.

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?

Stadt macht Kirche macht Stadt: St. Marien im thüringischen Mühlhausen

Unweit des Nationalparks Hainich gelegen, lädt das thüringische Mühlhausen mit seinen zahlreichen gotischen Kirchen ein. Von diesen ist die Marienkirche mitten im Herzen der Stadt die größte und wird auch im übrigen Thüringen nur vom Erfurter Dom an Größe übertroffen. Was aber hat eine Kirche mit Urbanität zu tun?

Kreuzritter auf dem Fußballplatz? Ein Erfurter Graffito

Ganz in der Nähe des Max-Weber-Kollegs befindet sich ein monumentales Graffiti an einer Hauswand. Es handelt sich um von Fußballfans gestaltete oder möglicherweise sogar von Sportfunktionären in Auftrag gegebene Kunst. Um Fußball zu verherrlichen, ruft das Graffiti unterschiedliche kulturelle Vorstellungen auf. Auf dem Weg zur Arbeit ist es morgens möglich, über „Religion und Urbanität“ zu stolpern. Was hat dieses Graffiti mit der Forschungsgruppe zu tun?

Registration open! Summer school “Urban Governance and Civic Participation” in Prague and Budapest

Interested students, postdocs and archivists can now register for the international summer school which the KFG UrbRel co-organises in the summer of 2022. The 8-day program is organised by Katalin Szende (CEU Budapes/Vienna), Zoe Opacic (Birkbeck College London) and Susanne Rau (KFG RelUrb, Erfurt University). This summer school is a follow-up of the online lecture series with the same title which took place in autumn 2021.

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