Overview: Frankfurt POLY Lectures “Space and Religion I” (Winter Term 2022/23)

Click here to watch the POLY Lectures on “Space and Religion I”.

Among other culturalist turns, the spatial turn has allowed historians to illuminate how religious formations are not only set in time but also deeply embedded in space. But how do religious agents define space themselves? How do the notions of space articulated by an early modern Jesuit operating overseas differ from those deployed by his Europe-based co-religionists? Or from the Quakers, Socinians, Mennonites and others being persecuted in or facing exile from the emerging territorial states and confessions that allowed Jesuits and others to thrive? And how does this difference between the use and articulation of space by the main confessional churches and the connectivity and border crossings emphasized by students interested in these “other” Christianities carry the risk of reviving a much older, ecclesial juxtaposition between “Church” and “Sect”? To continue on this reflexive note, how do these contemporary spatial notions and articulations trickle down in research, and how do our concepts structure the spatial dimensions of religious phenomena of the past? A selected group of trailblazing scholars in the field addressed these and related questions over the course of the winter term of 2022/23, with a first set of talks visiting locations ranging from Greece and the Danubian Principalities to Ukraine, the Christianities of the Middle East and Christian China.

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