[URBANTH-L]AAG 2008 Call for papers: the postsecular city

Justin Beaumont j.r.beaumont at rug.nl
Wed Sep 12 12:44:23 EDT 2007

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Call for papers:
Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting,
2008, Boston, MA, April 15-19

Justin Beaumont, Department of Planning and Environment,
Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, The
Netherlands, j.r.beaumont at rug.nl

Candice Dias, Department of Demography, Faculty of Spatial
Sciences, University of Groningen, The Netherlands,
c.dias at rug.nl

Our session calls for papers that address new and
innovative approaches and tools for theorizing and
conceptualizing the postsecular city. The primary focus is
relations between public religion, deprivatization of
religion and theorizations of modernity and modernities,
with implications for cities. The starting point is what
might be referred to as “postsecular society” (Habermas
2002; 2006; Joas 2000; Taylor 1999; 2007), with the
secondary and closely related focus on the changing role of
faith-based organizations (FBOs) in cities (Beaumont 2004;
2007; Beaumont and Dias 2007). We aim to make a
contribution to human geography, with implications for
political science, urban studies, contextual theology,
philosophy and religious studies as well as other related
disciplines at a timely moment. A number of recent academic
events reveal a growing recognition of these hitherto
distinct realms but while important in their own right
suggest a more or less complete lack of innovative,
systematic and appropriate theorization in the academic
literature. In exploring the ambiguous and contested role
of religion in urban life in the contemporary context of
neoliberalization, the session relates to a number of
pressing concerns among theorists across disciplines: the
mutually constitutive relations between the “social” and
the “spatial”, especially the “urban”, as well as new
approaches to religion, modernity and modernities, critical
social theory, urban theory and political action in theory
and practice.

Abstracts are welcomed for papers that address the
following closely interrelated theoretical concerns, with
empirical referents:

- New and innovative relations between urban theory, on the
one hand, and theories of religion, faith and belief in a
postsecular context on the other;
- Relations between religion, politics and postsecular
urban society at the political economy and humanist nexus
in the current era of neoliberalization;
- Theoretical relations between neoliberalization,
deprivatization of religion, re-enchantment of the real,
the Weberian secularization thesis and the repositioning of
FBOs in the social and political processes of cities;
- Competing approaches to urban governance and politics to
debate changing roles of religions and diverse FBOs in the
socio-political frameworks of cities;
- Shifting interface between institutions of religion (e.g.
church) and state at a variety of scales, with implications
for social and political action in cites.

We look forward to receiving abstracts of one page or less
by email to both of us by 01 October 2007.

Justin Beaumont
Research Nucleus
Urban and Regional Studies Institute (URSI)
University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Book Reviews Editor
Tijdschrift voor Economishe en Sociale Geografie (TESG)

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