International Conference “Law, Space, and Religion”

Law, Religion and Space: Trends, problems, and policies in multiconfessional European cities

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26 – 30 June 2013
Norrköping, Sweden

Chaired by: Prof. Massimo Leone, University of Torino
Co-chaired by: Prof. Richard Mohr, University of Wollongong

Cities provide the spatial ground on which we play out our social interactions:
cultural, economic, personal and religious. C ities are the bearers of
civility, citizenship and civilization, and also the crossroads where cultures,
mores and religions meet. How can those interactions best succeed: in accommodating diverse activities in a limited space; in blending multiple ways of living into a polity; in building mutual respect?

The conference will bring together policy makers, cultural mediators, researchers, architects, urban planners, lawyers, and religious leaders to explore these issues in their practical, legal and scholarly dimensions.

Call for Applications

Participants will propose and debate new theoretical insights, social policies and research trends in the management of public space in Europe’s culturally and religiously diverse cities. The religious and cultural foundations of Europe will be compared with the plural societies of the new world. Practice will illuminate theory; research will inform policy.

Topics, approached from semiotic, architectural, religious, legal or sociological perspectives, may include:
– religious and educational architecture
– competing codes of regulation of public space and behaviour
– media and publicity
– the provision and uses of public space.

European policy makers, officials, and administrators increasingly face issues arising from the impact of new religious cultures in the management of public space: from the establishment of minority places of worship to that of new cemeteries; from the management of common sport and recreation facilities to the handling of religious rituals in public spaces.

Before the increasing multi-religiosity of present-day European cities turn these issues into fertile ground for social tensions and confrontations, it is both opportune and necessary that scholars and policy makers arrive at new ideas, proposals, and practices to adapt planning and legal systems of Europe to its new demographic and socio-cultural reality.

Conference format:
– keynote lectures by internal experts (tba October 2012)
– presentations of findings and work in progress in research, policy and urbanism
– poster sessions, round table and open discussion periods
– forward look panel discussion about future developments

Conference programme:
26 June 2013: arrival day
27 – 29 June 2013: conference
30 June: departure after breakfast

Invited Speakers will include:

Jocelyne Cesari, C NRS – Paris / Harvard University, FR – US | Silvio Ferrari, University of Milan / Catholic University of Leuven, IT – BE | Annick Germain, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Montréal, C A | Ghassan Hage, University of Melbourne, AU | Massimo
Leone, University of Turin, IT | Richard Mohr, University of Wollongong, AU | Jørgen S. Nielsen, Danish National Research Foundation / University of Copenhagen, DK | GunnarSandin, University of Lund, SE | Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, US | Terry Threadgold, Cardiff University, UK.

How to participate

Researchers, scholars or practitioners interested in participating in any of those activities should send an expression of interest by December 2012, indicating the type of participation proposed, and a short resumé. Fuller abstracts or outlines will be required by February 2013. The program will be finalised in March 2013.

A number of grants will be available to cover costs of early career participants.

For more information or to register interest contact:
Allegra Roccato (ESF conference officer):
Massimo Leone:
Richard Mohr:

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