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Making Oneself at Home in Environments of Urban Amnesia: Religion and Theology in City Space

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image of International Journal of Public Theology

How is urban space to be developed as a habitable place, and what could religion and theology contribute to it? This article explores the question in three sections. First, urbanization is considered as a religious phenomenon, and examples from Mayan sacred geography, Swedish landscape architecture and the medieval European Hansa city are presented and discussed. Then, the human dimension, and the human capacity 'to make oneself at home', are elaborated clearly in articulating the need for a more plastic critical urban theory. The challenge to public theology in this context is to reflect deeply about how the Spirit is taking place in urban space. The final section investigates the dynamics of the space between oblivion, amnesia and remembrance and its significance for urban transformation. The design of places for remembering the sufferings of the past and the differences between strangers and residents are thereby outlined as a necessary condition for a city where humans can make themselves at home.

Affiliations: 1: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway


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