This Bloomsbury Handbook of Religion and Heritage in Contemporary Europe was prompted by the convergence of two recent developments. In the realm of scholarship, heritage has now advanced to become a core concept in the study of religion. At the same time, national and international cultural agencies increasingly take into account the religious dimensions of heritage. By illuminating the space of convergence that lies between scholarship and practice, this handbook makes its specific contribution. Our starting point for this volume is the interaction we see taking place between university scholars and those in museums, government agencies, and church and heritage foundations who actively contribute to the making of heritage. Scholars and heritage professionals are not working in separate worlds but have jointly developed ethical and normative concerns and share many of the same intellectual curiosities.
The handbook is organized around three central areas of inquiry. The first is Heritage and Diversity and investigates how scholars and professionals are responding to the diversity of religion and culture in European societies. The second part examines Heritage between Religion and the Secular and asks how developments in religious heritage relate to the declining participation in traditional religions in many parts of Europe, but also to new secular-religious configurations. The third part investigates Heritage and Creativity and enquires how artistic means and curatorial practices are contributing to a new understanding of heritage as meaning making.
Weir Todd H., and Lieke Wijnia. “Religious Heritage between Scholarship and Practice” In The Bloomsbury Handbook of Religion and Heritage in Contemporary Europe, edited by Todd H. Weir, and Lieke Wijinia, 3-14. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2023.