Religion is often portrayed as a source of protection against risk, offering solace, care, and prosperity, or conversely, as exacerbating violence and risk. This symposium explores how relationships between religion and risk play out in urban space in the fields of health, economy and security.
We propose the concept of urban risk as a starting point to explore a range of religious practices that do not neatly fit into functionalist descriptions and theoretical frameworks. Construing urban risk as objective and material adversities that affect people’s lives in urban space we are interested in the religious ideas and practices that contribute to configuring this field of adversities. Going beyond causal approaches, we look at how religion and risk overlap in the different domains. After introducing and discussing three new books on these topics, different case studies will be presented. Covering cities around the world, the presentations range from discussions about the intersections between religious groups, gangs and security forces to the role of religious business courses and health programs that stimulate particular entrepreneurial techniques and risk behaviors.
The workshop and books launch is a collaboration between the Center for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam, the Department of Anthropology at Utrecht University and University of Leipzig, involving researchers working in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
9.15-9.30: Welcome and Introduction
9.30-11.00: Session 1 – Books launch
A discussion on the basis of three books by Birgit Meyer (Utrecht University) and Rijk van Dijk (African Studies Centre, Leiden University)
11.15-13.00: Session 2 – Religion, Risk and Health
Chair: Linda van de Kamp (Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam)
Discussant: Kim Knibbe (University of Groningen)
14.00-15.45: Session 3 – Religion, Risk and Security
Chair: Martijn Oosterbaan (Utrecht University)
Discussant: Rivke Jaffe (Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam)
16.00-17.45: Session 4 – Religion, Risk and Economy
Chair: Marian Burchardt (University of Leipzig)
Discussant: Leilah Vevaina (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity)
17.45-18.15 Concluding Remarks
You are welcome to join, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.