The heritagization of religion and the sacralization of heritage in contemporary Europe

Project Participants

What happens when religious sites, objects and practices are simultaneously considered heritage? Since World War II, heritage is increasingly seen as defining identities and communities in times of change, and often what is now considered heritage was and still is seen as religious in nature and possibly sacred. Heritage, on the other hand, involves an explicitly secular gaze that sacralizes non-religious aspects of religious sites, objects and practices in a cultural, historical, or otherwise secular, immanent frame. HERILIGION seeks to understand the consequences of the heritagization of religious sites, objects and practices which were not considered heritage before, and which may provoke tensions between heritage and religious constituencies; between religious and secular sacralizations and uses; and between different disciplines and management regimes. HERILIGION 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. 

Associated Partners: 

AP 1: Dr. Ulla Kjær, National Museum of Denmark

AP 2: Dr. Anouk Janssen, Museum Catharijneconvent, The Netherlands,

AP 3: Dr. Antoni Bartosz, Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, Poland,

AP 4: Aleksander Kardyś, Tygodnik Powszechny Foundation, Poland,

AP 5: Dr. Paulo Costa, National Museum of Ethnology, Portugal,

AP 6: Dra. Joana Monteiro, Museu de Lisboa – Palácio Pimenta, Portugal,

AP 7: Cláudio Ferreira, ATUPO – Associaçao Templo de Umbanda Pai Oxalá, Portugal,

AP 8: Dr. Helen Lunnon Hungate, Medievel Art, United Kingdom,