track Religion and Cultural Heritage
How and why do we creatively make use of the past to forge new identities in the present? What is at stake in the "musealization" of religion?
Religion and Cultural Heritage is a unique one-year interdisciplinary MA-programme focusing on a major trend at the interface of religion, identity, politics, and heritage studies. It also addresses a gap in critical heritage studies, studying the shifting place of religion in heritage debates.Heritage and religion are in the news and on the political agenda both nationally and internationally. In the coming years, 30-80% of religious buildings will lose their original function in the Netherlands. National and European budgets are dedicating millions of euros to the development of plans to address vacant religious heritage buildings. Tourism and pilgrimage to religious objects, sites, and festivals are booming, which raises questions about sustainability and impact.
At the same time, heritage has become a significant subject in contemporary cultural debate. Large-scale migration and secularization are changing the religious identities of communities and the way they perceive the past. Urgent new questions are arising, like how migrant communities can maintain their religious identities while grappling with the material and intangible heritage of their new homes? And how does the new diversity affect the sense of identity and heritage of dominant cultures?The demands of preservation of at risk material and intangible heritage in the face of war, displacement, population shifts, and climate change are great. How are preservation concerns balanced with local resources?This programme challenges you to analyse and contribute your own voice to these debates.