Foto: Matthias Friel
612 9893 9243
You can attend this seminar without previous knowledge in sociology or anthropology of religion; for those who had no previous contact with basic theories in those fields, there will be an additional reading list provided, covering basic theoretical approaches.
This seminar has been conceived as a platform for discussion on the place of religion in the contemporary world. In the social sciences one rarely tries to define religion - especially in social anthropology there is a consensus that it is not possible to formulate a universal definition of religion. The concept of religion is a historical product and researchers looking at various societies and finding "religion", actually tend to look at very diverse phenomena.
While, on the one hand, religion is a difficult phenomenon to grasp and to define, public debates in contemporary Europe often accept a clear separation of secular and religious as a desirable basis for the functioning of the modern state. such an approach presumes that it is realtively easy to determine where the religious ends and the secular begins and vice versa.
In this seminar we will look at various configurations of secular/religious divide and debate.
We will analyse discussions concerning the presence of religion in public space: the reconstruction of churches in Germany, the relationship between national and religious symbols, significance of religion in discussions on issues linked to moral questions, gender divisions, individual responsibility and shaping of the urban and rural space.
We will focus on concrete case studies. Starting from them, we will travel towards sociological and anthropological theories, looking for most useful tools for their interpretation.
The three main thematic blocks:
1. Where do we look when you want to study religion?
2. What makes religion resilient?
3. What are the challenges for religon?
The seminar's programme will include field visits to the building site of the Garrison Church in Potsdam and to the Berlin Wall Memorial (Bernauerstraße)
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