ACE Flagship Seminar - Religion and the City: Alternatives to Civic Religion

5:00pm - 6:30pm / Tuesday 6th February 2018 / Venue: Seminar Room 10 Rendall Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Department / Series: Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology Seminar Series
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ACE Flagship Seminar

Prof. Jörg Rüpke (Max-Weber Kolleg, University of Erfurt, Germany) — ‘Religion and the City: Alternatives to Civic Religion’

This paper takes a fresh look at religion in the cities of the ancient Mediterranean basin in the light of present-day urbanization.

The widespread model of “polis” or “civic religion” is considered in the context of its origins in Numa Fustel de Coulange’s La cité antique (1864).

The re-reading of this work lays open the deficiencies in the widespread model of the coextension of political dominion and identity with religious practices and identity.

This critical review will then be extended to concepts of the relationship between city and religion in other periods and areas. A new concept of “urban religion” will be proposed, set against this backdrop.

About the speaker

Jörg Rüpke holds the Chair of Comparative Religion and Classical Philology at the University of Erfurt. He was the recipient of the Prix Gay Lussac-Humboldt in 2008 and the Advanced Grant of the European Research Council in 2011.

Since 2008 he has been a Fellow for Religious Studies at the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies (Max-Weber Kolleg) at the University of Erfurt.

In 2017 he became a faculty member of the International Graduate School (IGS) program "Resonant Self–World Relations in Ancient and Modern Socio-Religious Practices", a collaborative project between the University of Graz and the Max-Weber Kolleg, University of Erfurt. Jörg Rüpke is also an Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), Aarhus University.

Jörg Rüpke’s latest monograph (Pantheon: A New History of Roman Religion, Princeton University Press, 2018) is a comprehensive and strikingly original narrative history of ancient Roman and Mediterranean religion over more than a millennium—from the late Bronze Age, through the Roman imperial period, and up to late antiquity.