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.