Summer School: Religion in Cities


About The Event

Contested Presences, Contested Regulations

Call for Application

Date: August 20-24, 2018

Venue: Groningen, the Netherlands

Application Deadline: June 1, 2018

This summer school is designed for finalizing Bachelor students, Master students and PhD students who are interested in understanding the presence and governance of religious diversity in cities.

Study Load

• Contact hours: 31 hours
• Preparation of students individual presentation: 10 hours

Learning Outcomes

After this course you are able to:

– Understand the transformation of urban religious landscapes in Europe and beyond;
– Analyze complex processes of contestation, negotiation and governance of religious diversity issues in urban settings;
– Identify the actor constellations and power relations that intervene in the regulation of religion in cities;
– Relate urban processes of religious governance to processes at the national, international and global levels.

Language Requirements

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.


• Dr. Maria del Mar Griera, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain)
• Dr. Gloria García-Romeral, City of Barcelona (Spain)
• Dr. Marian Burchardt, University of Leipzig (Germany)

In the summer of 2016, a vivid controversy about the banning of the burkini in a number of French coastal cities irrupted in the international media. Cities are spaces where international migration, globalisation and religious diversity converge. Debates over the construction of places of worship or the occupation of urban spaces for public uses are recurrent in many cities across Europe and beyond. While sometimes the controversies relate directly to religious matters, in other cases the issues at stake have to do with noise, lack of adequate infrastructure or urban planning regulations. Moreover, we see that the actors involved in such controversies and their capacity to make their voices heard vary across countries and cities.

This summer school addresses a topic that generates heated political debates and that is increasingly being discussed in the social sciences, namely the presence and regulation of religious diversity in cities. The aim of this summer school is to provide undergraduate students in their last year of studies, as well as Master and PhD students in different disciplines with the means to reflect upon religious issues in cities from the perspective of sociology, geography, urban studies and religious studies.

The topic will be addressed from three different stand-points:

a) a theoretical perspective to understand the presence, visibility and regulation of religious diversity in European cities;

b) methodological insights into how to research these topics and conduct fieldwork in concrete urban settings; and

c) discussions about the political relevance and policy responses offered at the level of cities.

More specifically, the summer school will deal with issues related to urban planning and the building of places of worship, the occupation of public spaces for urban uses, the regulation of use of religious outfit in public, among other things. Lectures will be based on empirical research conducted currently in cities in a number of countries. Students will have the opportunity to learn from experienced researchers and present as well as discuss their own work with other participants and lecturers. Moreover, students will meet and exchange with policy-makers and practitioners involved in the governance of religious diversity in cities.

More information at: University of Groningen’s Website

  • Cost: Free
  • Total Slot: 0
  • Booked Slot: 0

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University of Groningen

University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands

Our Speakers

Dr. Gloria García-Romeral
Dr. Maria del Mar Griera
Dr. Marian Burchardt
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