Pilgrimage Sites and the Roots of Urbanity

The Institute of Romance Studies participates in the subcluster Urban ROOTS with the project “Pilgrimage Sites and the Roots of Urbanity”. The aim of this project is to investigate cultural and social dynamics in urban pilgrimage sites, especially in the Christian Middle Ages, but also in the Early Modern Period (considering both the Old and the New World). Thus, centres of earlier cultures and other religions are contemplated in a comparative approach.
In particular, forms and structures of human perception with respect to urban space, e.g. in terms of the mental and functional differentiation between city centres and the hinterland, sacred and secular places, private and public spheres, familial and professional areas, as well as experiential frames of the Self and Otherness, are investigated. Furthermore, epistemological interest is directed at patterns of action and interactions between individuals and social groups, as well as persons and institutions in order to identify and reconstruct civilization processes, changes and transfers in the social space of the city, which are linked to social problems.
Through these approaches, it is possible to link individual perception and social action in order to explore the cultural dynamisation of both earlier settlement areas and already existing urban centres based on their urbanity.
Since the geographical focus of the project lies in the area of Romance languages and cultures – including Latin –, it stands to reason to establish a connection between Roman and Germanic contexts. By conceiving the city as a complex structure, which is formed by different discourses and develops within the settings of the environment and nature, the contours of human spatial appropriation can be outlined even clearer up until the Early Modern Period.

Project by Javier Gomez-Montero gomez.montero@romanistik.uni-kiel.de





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Participating Institutions