Colloquium scope

For centuries, the populations of most large cities were not only diverse in terms of ethnicity or economics, but also religion. One can venture to say that the structure of most religious cities is a reflection of the religious structure of the city's parent country, but it is also a microcosm, in which there will always be room for new religious groups.

While academic interest in urban religious diversity has increased recently, the research literature still does not offer comparative works designed to define terms as well as show the scale of similarities and differences between the religious space of various cities. The few quantitative and qualitative papers on urban religious diversity that do exist do not make it possible to compare the religious profiles of large cities of more than 100,000 inhabitants. The purpose of the colloquium is to identify factors shaping religious space in the largest cities in the world during the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st century.

Religious space is a subspace of human geography. The notion of religious space implies that part of geographic space in which there are relationships between man and the sacred. Religious space may feature the infrastructure needed to operate a religious system, mainly churches, cemeteries and other facilities owned by churches and religious organizations, and performing support functions in religious activities (e.g. schools, hospitals, etc.). Religious space has the characteristics of social space in which the various spheres of the social, economic, and political world interact. In this case, the interactions are between people belonging to different religious groups and non-believers.

The role of religion and the range of influence it exerts on urban space foster the development of the endogenous and exogenous functions of a city. The former concerns, by and large, parish organization. The latter concerns cities of a higher position in the church administration hierarchy (e.g. provinces, dioceses) and includes places of religious character, which attract individuals from outside the given city.

Sanctuaries are places, which greatly influence the organization of urban space. As a rule, the more important the sanctuary, the more influence it exerts on nearby urban space.

While the principal subject of the colloquium is cities located in Europe, papers on religious diversity in large cities in other parts of the world are also welcome. In addition, the colloquium is designed to discuss theoretical papers and papers on new research methods.