Secularization and immigration are changing the religious makeup of European societies. While more people identify as non-religious, new arrivals and conversion mean that the religious landscape is becoming increasingly more complex. This presents challenges and opportunities to organizations, government agencies and scholars engaged with maintaining and promoting cultural heritage. How should Europe’s plural religious pasts be represented? How can heritage be translated for audiences that do not identify with local religious traditions? What challenges and chances lie in the process of secularization? Can or should heritage organizations foster dialogue between groups in multi-religious societies? These pressing questions are at the heart of the conference “Religious Heritage in a Diverse Europe.”
In order to explore answers to these questions, the conference will bring into conversation scholars, museum curators, heritage professionals, visual artists, as well as leaders of religious and secular organizations.
The Centre for Religion and Heritage at the University of Groningen has long provided expertise and training in heritage studies. They have teamed up with two of the most important national heritage organizations: the Museum Catharijneconvent, which is the national Dutch museum for Christian heritage and history, and the Jewish Cultural Quarter, which runs the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. Our partner on the European level is Future of Religious Heritage, the Brussels-based network for historic places of worship.
The 2nd International Workshop on Jewish Heritage organized by the Parkes Institute is following on from the 2016 workshop themed around ‘Jewish Heritage and Its Communities’. That workshop brought together academics, museum staff and grassroots activists from all over Europe. Excellent presentations covered a wide range of topics, from Judaica collecting in St Petersburg to audience expectations at the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow and the innovative use of churches in the UK and stimulated animated discussions. Yet many aspects of community-relations could only be briefly addressed and that is why another conference has been organized. This event will focus more specifically on museums and communities and take place at the Jewish Museum London.
Museums entertain multiple relationships with communities, be they volunteers, sponsors, visitors and other users, but also with the people in their immediate neighbourhoods and the wider society. They all have their own agendas and interests, which can come into conflict with each other. Many of these issues pertain to all museums, but Jewish museums are also confronted with specific challenges. An important particularity is that many Jewish museums in Europe have been established over the last three decades in places with hardly any Jewish communities left. Yet, most of them reach beyond the Jewish communities and try to speak both to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences.
The aim of the workshop is to foster dialogue across nations and between practitioners, researchers, and those who work for museums, in a professional or voluntary capacity. There is scope for forging closer links between these agents who work in the same sector but lack joint forums for debate. The last workshop has led to a couple of working partnerships and we hope that the same will happen again next time. The event will also be an opportunity for participants to showcase their most recent research and museum projects and to network internationally.
The 26th annual Sefer conference.
- section dedicated to the 50 anniversary of death Itsic Manger
- a section dedicated to the history and culture of Lithuanian Jews
- a section on the history and culture of the Mountain Jews
- a section dedicated to the evacuation and the first post-war years
- section “between the earthly and the divine: images, technology and Kabbalah in modern times”
- Section “Romania, Romania, Romania: between dream and reality of the first half of the XX century”