The Heritagization of Religion and the Sacralization of Heritage in Contemporary Europe
This project aims to understand the consequences of the heritagisation of religious sites, objects and practices which were not considered heritage before, and which may provoke tensions between, heritage and religious constituencies, religious and secular sacralisations and uses, and different disciplines and management regimes.
Often what is now considered heritage was and still is seen as religious in nature and possibly sacred. Actual heritage involves an explicitly secular gaze that sacralises non-religious aspects of religious sites, objects and practices in a cultural, historical, or otherwise secular, inherent frame. Since World War II, heritage is increasingly seen as defining identities and communities in times of change.
Our Lady of Walsingham, statue in the Roman Catholic Shrine.
Our Lady of Walsingham in the Anglican Shrine
HERILIGION asks, what happens when religious sites, objects and practices are simultaneously considered heritage?
The project will produce new insights which can be used to understand, manage and defuse tensions, benefiting both religious and heritage constituencies in Europe.
The research will take place at religious and heritage sites in Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and the UK, or would focus on emerging practical heritage – so-called intangible cultural heritage – in these countries.