Title: How the Other Half Worships
Authors: De Boeck, Filip #
Issue Date: 2012
Conference: Global Prayers Theme Days: Redemption and Liberation in the City edition:1 location:Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany date:26 February 2012
Abstract: Over a period of four years, the photographer and sociologist Camilo José Vergara, a 2010 alumnus of the American Academy in Berlin, visited churches in the poorest parts of America, taking part in Sunday worship and choir practice, and interviewing churchgoers and pastors alike. The result of his engagement was the study How the Other Half Worships, published by Rutgers University Press in 2005, a densely illustated book with over 300 photographs from places of worship in Harlem, Los Angeles, Bridgeport, Chicago, Brooklyn, and Newark. Now, as the closing speaker of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt's "Global Prayers" weekend event, Vergara discusses his methodology and the state of religious movements in the hardest-hit sections of the American metropolis.

Joining the discussion will be Regina Bittner (cultural studies, Dessau), Filip de Boeck (anthropology, Leuven, Kinshasa), Helmut Draxler (art and cultural theory, Stuttgart, Berlin), Philippe Rekacewicz (journalist and geographer, Paris, Eydehavn), Joseph Vogl (cultural studies, Berlin). The event is moderated by social anthropologist Julia Eckert.
Description: 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.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa
# (joint) last author

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