The Heritagization of Religion and Sacralization of Heritage in Contemporary Europe



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What happens when religious sites, objects and practices are simultaneously considered heritage?

Since World War II, cultural 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 predicated on non-transcendant principles – historical, cultural, aesthetic. Heritagization might entail the sacralization of non-religious aspects of religious sites, objects and practices in a secular, immanent frame.

HERILIGION seeks to understand the consequences of the heritagization of religious sites, objects and practices which may not have been considered heritage before, and especially the relations between heritage and religious constituencies, and between different disciplines and management regimes; and the potential paradoxes between religious and secular sacralizations and uses.

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