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Seminar: Spaces of Religion in Mumbai
May 11, 2017 - 14:15-16:00
Spaces of religion in Mumbai: Interdisciplinary perspectives
Morgenstierne Seminar with István Keul
For the past two years, an interdisciplinary research group formed by scholars from the study of religions, sociology, social anthropology, political science and South Asian studies has been working on various aspects related to the socio-cultural dynamics of religion in one of the largest and culturally most diverse cities in the world, Mumbai. Addressing their specific topics, the participating scholars took a spatial approach, avoiding thus the homogenization of religious communities as clear-cut entities. The focus and main interest was on the dynamics of composite spaces (real and imaginary), and on socio-religious constellations and interactions in various metropolitan settings. The lecture introduces selected themes from the project, such as the crossing of demarcation lines at religious sites that attract large numbers of visitors with different religious backgrounds; the negotiation of inter-religious marriages by ethno-religious communities, civil-society groups, political parties and religious organizations; the extents to which religious festivals as major urban events can become arenas for cross-religious engagement and participation, but also for the communalization of ethno-religious identities. The subproject that will be presented more extensively is the study of multi-religious neighborhoods and the ways in which religious factors contribute to the forging of structures and relations in the residents’ day-to-day life.
István Keul is professor in the Study of religions at the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion, University of Bergen.