Peter van der Veer (Max Planck Institute, Göttingen) "Urban Religion in Asia: A Comparative Perspective"

November 24, 2014
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 4:30pm
165 Thompson Library

Professor Peter van der Veer will deliver the fourth lecture in the 2014-2015 University Lectures on Religion series. He is Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity at Göttingen. His lecture, like all others in the Center for the Study of Religion-sponsored series, is free and open to all. There will be a brief question-and-answer session and a reception following the lecture. 

Abstract:

Does religion have an urban future? It had an urban past, clearly, since the centers of civilizations have been cities and civilizations were always religious. That is why it is so amusing that theories of modernization place religion in the countryside as a firmly rural phenomenon and see the city as secular. Stadtluft macht frei (City air makes free) is the German expression of the idea that rural religious folks lose their religion when they enter the city. Such an expression of freeing oneself from traditional bonds is obviously a deeply cherished element of secular modernity and has thus prevented generations of urban sociologists and students of cities to really look and see the role of religion in cities. This has to be empirically established, since in some cities one cannot find much public expression of religion. I am thinking primarily about big cities in China and in Western Europe. So, one of the questions one needs to raise is where does religion have an urban future and where doesn’t it. 

**Co-sponsored by the Department of Comparative Studies**


Listen to this lecture (mp3 format)


Seminar with Dr. van der Veer 

As part of his visit to OSU, Peter van der Veer with also be leading a seminar on Feb 4th in Comparative Studies. More information here.   

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