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26.10.2016

Online Exhibition: The Urban Sacred

How does religion and religious life become visible in (european) metropolises? In which way do religions influence our way of living, urban social behaviour, and urban development? Which impact do urban structures have on religion vice versa? These are the questions, that the online exhibition "The Urban Sacred" is dealing with. 

The exhibition is the result of several years of collaboration of researchers and artists from the Netherlands, the UK, and Germany led by Volkhard Krech (Center for Religious Studies, Ruhr University Bochum).  It

analyses and documents both religious icons and icons that explicitly depict motifs of religious encounter from the three European capital cities of Amsterdam, Berlin, and London. 
[The] exhibition investigates creative approaches to knowledge transfer, presenting a bundle of diverse materials (photographs, objects, maps, texts) that attempt to mediate the relevance of exhibitions within discourses on religious diversity. Where do we find the sacred in today’s cities? What impact does religion have on the urban landscape, and to what extent, in turn, do cities influence religion?
[...]
Religious places are closely intertwined with their environment. New religious places come into existence, others disappear or are transformed. These processes change and re-arrange the urban façade and everyday city life.  Yet, what is visible at street level may not reflect the activities that go on inside. Monumental buildings, that are easily identifiable as religious sites, may have lost their religious function. By contrast, former houses and shops host religious congregations. Because they appear ordinary and unremarkable, they blend in rather than stand out in city space.
Urban architecture also reveals wider social histories of cities. Migration, for example, brings new religious communities which seek to make a spiritual home for themselves. Major events, such as the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, or the widespread public commemoration of national tragedies shape the religious face of cities.

Homepage of The Urban Sacred

www.urban-sacred.org

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