Prof. Dr. Marian Burchardt

Fellow (Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien)


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Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
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Universität Erfurt
Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Postfach 90 02 21
99105 Erfurt

Prof. Dr. Marian Burchardt


Religious Space in Barcelona: Towards an Eventful Sociology of Religious Urbanity

Accommodating the new religious diversity in urban public space in an equitable, non-discriminatory fashion while enhancing social cohesion has become a major challenge for many European cities. At the same time, such challenges are not entirely new as European metropoles have already experienced dramatic religious transformations in earlier periods, for instance during periods of intense urban growth in phases of industrialization and the urban conflicts accompanying them.

Focusing on the ways rituals contribute to the spatialization of religion in cities, this project explores how these challenges have played out in the organization of urban religious events (including processions, public rituals and festivals) and their perception by urban publics in the Mediterranean city of Barcelona. Based on the assumption that religious uses of urban space are particularly contested in periods in which established cultural hegemonies and understandings of urban space are challenged, I focus on three distinct historical moments of modern Barcelona:

  1. The time around the so-called Setmana Tragica in 1909 when through the growth of anticlerical riots the coexistence among political movements, alternative religious actors and Catholic actors was deeply challenged;
  2. The period of the late 1940s and early 1950s characterized by Catholic re-evangelization campaigns in working class areas;
  3. The period from the early 2000s until the present with its increasing religious diversity.