Feb 23–26, 2012
global prayers 2012
redemption and liberation in the city
New religious movements are emerging in the world’s metropolises. Novel religious communities are embodied by political, economic and social players who promise redemption or liberation and success or collective healing. This development is changing the world map of denominations along with the architectural appearance of urban spaces and the public domain.
Evangelical communities work in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro to prevent drug abuse. In war-torn Beirut, Islamic movements are organizing the reconstruction of the devastated city. Christian Nollywood movies are being made in the f lm studios of Lagos. Islamic gated communities are sprouting up on the outskirts of Istanbul. In Mumbai, Hindu nationalists are officially part of the municipal government. In Berlin, Christian communities gather in cinemas, cafés and other secular institutions. Very little serious research has been done on these new movements. Instead, they are often ignored or scandalized. During the Global Prayers Theme Days, international academics and artists highlight religious phenomena and urban settings, strategies, and productions of meaning of religious players from metropolises around the world. In a series of discussions, lectures, sounds, f ilms and photographic works, they explore the links between urban development and religious practices, between promises of spiritual redemption and social liberation.
Updates on the project’s research can be found at www.globalprayers.info.