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EVROPAEVM Summer School 2008

EVROPAEVM Summer School 2008

14. September 2008 - 19. September 2008


"Sacred Buildings in the Modern City"

The 2008 EVROPAEVM Summer School is being coordinated through the Centre for Religion and Society (ZERG) at the University of Bonn.
The working language will be English.
The Summer School aims to bring together graduates and academics from Europaeum institutions to explore the place of sacred buildings in modern European city-life. 

The event will be comprised of a series of lectures, as well as practical exercises, including debates, a panel discussion, workshops, and excursions. It will confront the participants with interdisciplinary approaches to European culture of the sacred, addressing its history as well as its past, present and future influence on Europe.

Concepts and phenotypes of the sacred in the anthroposphere are not just an episode, but an essential experience of humanity. On the one hand, the interplay between the sacred and the profane in the contemporary architecture is striking: shopping malls or sporting arenas refer to the symbolic sphere which was previously a hallmark of the religious edifices; on the other, the interdependence of the profane and sacred spaces, for example churches transformed into museums and youth clubs or motorway-chapels (Autobahnkirchen), modifies the meaning of the sacred.

Secularisation, recurrence of religiosity, globalisation and the clash of cultures we face in Europe today make the topic of sacred buildings in the modern city an important pillar when approaching present and future concepts of European identity. We will provide an interdisciplinary (architecture, art history, philosophy, theology, political sciences, sociology, urban planning and law) perspective on the sacred and address the international context and national differences one confronts when approaching the subject. We wish to provoke a discussion on the dialogue of the three big monotheistic religions - Christianity, Judaism and Islam - to pose the question of their peaceful coexistence in the European multicultural framework.
The region Bonn/Cologne is an urban area of vibrant multicultural flair. It is ideally suited to explore the topic not only theoretically, but also by experiencing the places of the sacred. Our excursions to two world cultural heritage objects: the Aachen Cathedral and the Cologne Cathedral give an exquisite chance to get the impression of glorious sacred architecture. In addition, we offer a unique possibility to admire a birdŽs eye perspective on Cologne from the Cathedral roofs. There will be a chance to experience the atmosphere of the sacred through music and art along the way.

For further information see