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Iconic Religion: How Imaginaries of Religious Encounter Structure Urban Space

Project: Other


Due to increasing cultural diversity, encounters between different religious traditions and between the religious and the secular play a crucial role in contemporary society. The visual dimension is important within these interactions, because religions are not restricted to texts or ritual actions. How do imaginaries of religious en¬counters – visually expressed in pictures, sculptures, symbols, graffities, performances – structure urban space and vice versa. “Iconic Religion” focuses on London, Amsterdam and Berlin as three European metropoles. We will combine a spatial approach with visual analysis. Since we treat images as metonymic expressions of certain narratives, debates and discourses on religious diversity are of special relevance. We will therefore refer to discourse analysis and include a reception study, qualitative interviews and focus groups to identify the variety of meanings attributed to selected images by participants and observers. An exhibition of photographs will be shown in Amster¬dam, London, Berlin, and Bochum. It will be complemented by a catalogue and a website, including in¬for¬ma¬tion for a broader au¬dience. In addition, “Iconic Religion” will be implemented in teaching on religion at the participating universities.
Effective start/end date2/09/1331/08/16