Focus groups

In the winter of 2021/22, the Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies “Religion and Urbanity” (UrbRel) was positively evaluated for a second funding phase and in April 2022 the main committee (Hauptausschuss) of the DFG granted a second funding period from 2023 until 2026. During this time, the UrbRel group will continue its work within the chosen temporal and spatial framework of the first millennium BC until today in Europe, the Mediterranean and South Asia. In addition, the UrbRel group will further develop and apply its research programme. In other words, we will explore the mutual formation of religion and urbanity as a fruitful perspective for research in the history of religion and urban history and do so by means of a more precise terminology as well as a research methodology complemented by processual concepts.

At the beginning of the second phase, it appears to be most promising to examine long-term processes of differentiation and (dis-)embedding of religion and urbanity in the respective contexts of their mutual formation. We aim to identify phases of reinforcement and institutionalisation of religion and urbanity at the level of practices, ideas and organisations (as collective actors) in a reciprocal relationship. During such phases, discourses of urbanity would be more explicit and distinguishable from concrete urban space and urbanisation, just as religions as social formations and systematised bodies of knowledge are distinguishable from concrete religious practices.

To this end, we have selected three focal areas of investigation and have established three focus groups:

This blog post situates the topics of the three groups in the wider context of the “Religion and Urbanity” research centre:

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