2004
Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0778-8304
  • E-ISSN: 2665-9484

Abstract

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between heritage and three dimensions of religious change that have characterized Europe since the 1960s, namely secularization, pluralization, and spiritualization. Following an analysis of the role of religious heritage in both public discourse and academia, the essay turns to recent heritage initiatives, and explores how churches, secular organizations and government agencies have responded to the shifting religious landscape in their heritage work. The article shows that while secularization, understood here as declining participation in traditional religious congregations, has forced churches and synagogues to change hands and find new uses, it has also made possible new types of secular-religious cooperation in heritage that move in a postsecular direction. The diversification of European society, which features the growth of new religious communities, has prompted some to mobilize tropes of “Christian” or “Judeo-Christian-Humanist” heritage to exclude religious minorities. At the same time, growing diversity has also led to calls to pluralize Europe’s religious heritage. Grassroots and top-down efforts to recover the presence of minorities in Europe in past decades have flourished. Finally, the article explores spiritualization as a religious activity that highlights creativity in the ongoing meaning making that constitutes heritage work today.

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2021-10-01
2022-12-07
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