Posts Tagged ‘Urban’

Strhan, “The metropolis and evangelical life: coherence and fragmentation in the ‘lost city of London’”

July 9, 2013

Strhan, Anna. 2013. “The metropolis and evangelical life: coherence and fragmentation in the ‘lost city of London.’” Religion [Pre-Print: DOI: 10.1080/0048721X.2013.798164]

Abstract: This article examines the interplay of different processes of cultural and subjective fragmentation experienced by conservative evangelical Anglicans, based on an ethnographic study of a congregation in central London. The author focuses on the evangelistic speaking practices of members of this church to explore how individuals negotiate contradictory norms of interaction as they move through different city spaces, and considers their response to tensions created by the demands of their workplace and their religious lives. Drawing on Georg Simmel’s ‘The Metropolis and Mental Life’, the author argues that their faith provides a sense of coherence and unity that responds to experiences of cultural fragmentation characteristic of everyday life in the city, while simultaneously leading to a specific consciousness of moral fragmentation that is inherent to conservative evangelicalism.

Cruz (ed.), “Christianity and Culture in the City”

February 14, 2013

Cruz, Samuel (ed.).  2012.  Christianity and Culture in the City: A Postcolonial Approach.  Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.

Publisher’s Description: Christianity and Culture in the City: A Postcolonial Approach offers an introduction to the broad diversity of contemporary Christianities in a rich, complex, changing, and challenging city context. Cruz focuses upon a variety of changing communities with dynamic and striking cultural experiences, and the volume provides both scholarly and practical insights as to how Christianities in the city relate to and transform city institutions and communities that are undergoing dramatic shifts and invite opportunities for intentional study.

This book offers a provocative interdisciplinary examination to shed light upon the ways in which diverse city communities appropriate Christianity to better engage their economic, cultural, political, and religious environment. A post-colonial theoretical framework will help inform how Christianity serves to empower and reinvent fragmented, oppressed, and struggling city populations. The reader is offered various conceptual, theoretical, and pragmatic insights and knowledge for better interpreting, affirming, and engaging diverse Christianities in the city in a postcolonial era.

Tassi, “Dancing the Image”

September 22, 2012

Tassi, Nico. 2012. “Dancing the Image”: materiality and spirituality in Andean religious “images.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute  18(2):285-310.

Abstract:

In the Christian tradition, representing the divine has often been considered both an impossible and yet necessary endeavour rooted in the human need in certain moments of weakness to visualize God. In this article, based on research findings from fieldwork carried out with urban indigenous groups in La Paz, Bolivia, I suggest that the articulation of local and Catholic representational traditions and practices has produced an understanding of the religious image not so much as an object of detached contemplation or a reference to a religious symbol but rather as an energized element which physically shapes the relationship and exchange between the material and the spiritual world. I suggest that through a study of Andean religious images we may be able to produce an alternative ontological perspective on the relationship between the spiritual, material, and living worlds.

Résumé

Dans la tradition chrétienne, la représentation du divin est souvent considérée comme une gageure impossible et pourtant nécessaire, motivée par la nécessité humaine de visualiser Dieu dans les moments de faiblesse. À partir des matériaux de terrain obtenus auprès de groupes autochtones urbains à La Paz, en Bolivie, l’auteur suggère ici que l’articulation des traditions et pratiques de représentation locales et catholiques a conduit à concevoir l’image religieuse moins comme un objet de contemplation détachée ou une référence à un symbole religieux que comme un élément chargé d’énergie, qui donne physiquement forme à la relation et aux échanges entre le monde matériel et le monde spirituel. L’article suggère qu’à travers l’étude des images religieuses andines, on pourrait élaborer un autre point de vue ontologique sur la relation entre les mondes spirituel, matériel et vivant.

Yeung, “Constructing Sacred Space”

December 14, 2011

Yeung, Gustav K.K. 2011. Constructing Sacred Space Under the Forces of the Market: a study of an ‘upper-floor’ Protestant church in Hong Kong. Culture and Religion 12(4).

Abstract: In Hong Kong, over half of the Protestant churches are located in the upper-floor units in commercial and residential buildings. Because of their physical locations, these churches are sometimes dubbed ‘upper-floor churches’. Unlike those that occupy stand-alone religious buildings or dwell in church-run schools and social service centres, these are often invisible in the landscapes of the city. Through analysis of a case study, this paper aims to explore the spatial practices that a Protestant community has adopted in acquiring, representing, and ritualising a business unit in a residential high-rise for building up their church. Our analysis of the case study shows that in a metropolis like contemporary Hong Kong, the construction of sacred space is full of tensions between utilitarian calculations and concerns of human relations and religious values. While the congregation had been very creative in transforming a commercial unit into a religious site, it did not show much awareness of the oppressive powers of the capitalist market and had a strong tendency to represent its spatial practices as commodities for consumption.

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