Moral Cities: Religious Belonging and Cohabitation in Urban Spaces. Report from the 2017 German Anthropological Association conference
How do religious subjects, groups, practices and ideas shape and affect the urban spaces of cities like Berlin and Istanbul? How do religious actors establish relations of belonging? How do they constitute themselves as social, moral, and individual subjects? What happens to religious buildings and devotional objects when they are abandoned and/or appropriated by different religious and/or secular actors? How can we study these phenomena from an anthropological perspective? Under the moderation of Hansjörg Dilger (Freie Universität Berlin), the plenary session “Moral Cities: Religious Belonging and Cohabitation in Urban Spaces” explored the complex entanglements of religion and urban space at the 2017 German Anthropological Association conference which took place at Freie Universität Berlin from October 4-7 and focused on the overall topic of “Belonging: Affective, Moral, and Political Practices in an Interconnected World.” The four panelists – Birgit Meyer (Utrecht University), Werner Schiffauer (Europa-Universität Viadrina), and Omar Kasmani and Dominik Mattes (both Freie Universität Berlin) – focused each on specific aspects of the plenary session and highlighted the multiple ways in which urban space is shaped by religion – and how it simultaneously transforms religious ideas, practices, and materialities in a globalizing world.