CfP for EAUH Antwerp: “Religious Guides to Urbanity” and “Religion, Mobility and Co-spatiality in Cities”

We are pleased that the DFG-funded KFG “Religion and Urbanity: Reciprocal Formations” has received two sessions at the European Association for Urban History conference 2020. The conference takes place in Antwerp from 2 to 5 September 2020. We invite applications for papers to be presented at the two sessions.

The first one, organised by Martin Christ, Emiliano Urciuoli and Charlotte Elisheva  Fonrobert, concerns the topic “Religious Guides to Urbanity”. The session focuses on the regulation of urban life of both migrants and long-term residents through orders, council decrees, ordinances, guild statutes, instructions and other forms of written authoritative communication that are spurred by religious motivations, betray religious concerns, or target religious behaviors and misbehaviors. It asks how such regulations sought to fix urban behaviour in cities which were constantly changing and how the movements within the cities influenced the instructions in turn. It takes a broad chronological and cross-cultural view in order to compare urban productions as diverse as anti-idolatrous regulations authored by late antique Christian and Jewish religious specialists, sets of rules like the Muslim hisba, church ordinances of early modern European towns (Kirchenordnungen), and several other textualized strategies to promote or impose a ‘safe urban life’. As suggested by the notion of urban religion, which considers the spatially informed dialectic of co-production of urban life and religious communication, the focus of the panel is twofold: on the one hand, it addresses the regulation of religious life and the ways in which religious texts aim to shape the urban conditions of living and, on the other hand, it looks at how urban spaces, actors, and ideals of urbanity generate more or less binding projects of religious normativity. The panel takes a source-based approach and seeks to take a close look at individual sources and their interpretation to enable meaningful comparisons across cultures past and presents as well as a diverse range of regions. 

The second session, led by Susanne Rau, Jörg Rüpke and Michel Lussault, concentrates on “Religion, Mobility and Co-spatiality in Cities“. It proposes that urban space is characterized by multiple overlapping spaces, created by the imaginations and use of space and complicated by the movement of different people and groups. Religion offers an interesting lens into this phenomenon, as it is as much a technique to mark out space by ritual usages, ephemeral or lasting sacralisations of space, as it is a cultural technique to imagine and perform the transgression of concrete space with a view to divine addressees etc. Thus, its use of space is very different from other uses of spaces. Hence, it is conflicting or has the potential of being instrumentalised for different purposes. The organisers particularly welcome case studies European, Mediterranean and Asian cities of all epochs on double or parallel uses and interpretation of space, especially when they are caused by religious groups. Theoretical papers are welcome, as are considerations on simultanea or shared use of temples by different groups, appropriations of urban space by religious migrants, processions, sacred places in present metropolises and architectural space and sacred metaphors.

We look forward to receiving proposals for both these sessions through the official EAUH website.

The call closes on 04 October.