[URBANTH-L]AAG 2010 session announcement: Spaces of postsecular engagement

Justin Beaumont J.R.Beaumont at rug.nl
Wed Sep 30 14:23:33 EDT 2009

Spaces of postsecular engagement

Sessions for the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., United States, 14-18 April 2010

Justin Beaumont, Faculty of Spatial Science, University of Groningen,
The Netherlands, j.r.beaumont at rug.nl

Jason Hackworth, Department of Geography and Urban Planning,
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, jason.hackworth at utoronto.ca
The links between religion, space, and political economy are complicated
and sorely understudied, especially within the discipline of geography
and urban studies more generally. Recent events pose further challenges,
as countries around the world adopt a quasi-Keynesian response to global
economic crisis with uncertain implications for the reconfigured role of
the state vis a vis civil society such as faith-based organizations.
Despite a growing body of work concerned with postsecular social theory
(McLennan 2007; /forthcoming/), religion, place and multiscalar space
(Hopkins /et al/ /forthcoming/), postsecular challenges to revanchist
urbanism (Cloke /et al/ 2009) and theorizing postecular cities (Beaumont
and Baker /forthcoming/), genuine dialogue across disciplines is only
just beginning and in need of thorough interrogation and critical
scrutiny. Hot on the heels of a conference in Groningen, The Netherlands
in November 2008 on religion, politics and the postsecular city
(Molendijk /et al/ /forthcoming/), the papers that comprise these
sessions examine theoretically and empirically what we call /spaces of
postsecular engagement for justice in cities/. By these terms we refer
to emergent spaces of postsecular praxis, where faith-based and secular
interests collaborate in particular and differentiated forms of
rapprochement to embody and enact transformational forms of social
justice. These new forms of collaboration fuse diverse groups on the
basis of ethics and justice, where this coming together implies the
setting aside of political or ideological differences to facilitate
progressive social change in cities.

Countless examples across countries exist that require careful analysis
and to this end we are interested in the follow interrelated concerns:

1. What are the theoretical tools at our disposal for deepening
our understanding of modes and spaces of postsecular engagement?

2. What are the different motivations at play, ethical, political
and theological, within FBOs and secular organizations?

3. How is postsecular rapprochement negotiated in terms of
initial initiative, also how common ethical, political and practical
ground is established?

4. What are the strategic directions both within and beyond
neoliberal structures of governance and how are they organized?

5. How are postsecular engagements for justice and care performed
and brought into being at a variety of scales?

6. How is postsecular activity subject to different and
potentially uneven spatial formation across countries?

We bring together a number of scholars from the US, Canada, UK and
Europe to shed light on these and other questions. David Ley and Paul
Cloke will be discussants.

We look forward to seeing you there.


Justin Beaumont
Department of Planning, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, THE NETHERLANDS
Tel: 0031 (0)50 363 6910/ 3895
Fax: 0031 (0)50 363 3901
Skype: justin9712
Facebook: "Justin Beaumont"
Website: www.rug.nl/staff/j.r.beaumont/index

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