For a long time, the mainstream of social and cultural geography seems to have implicitly accepted that religion is becoming obsolete. However, since the 1990s, religion has aroused new interest in the social sciences in general, and to some extent also in social and cultural geography. The paper introduces the interdisciplinary debate on theories of secularisation and the promotion of post-secular perspectives and shows the potential of this debate for social and cultural geography.
I critically interrogate the usefulness of the terminology of „post-secularism“ to understand the entanglement of religion and politics in multi-religious societies in the West and elsewhere. I suggest that the vocabulary of a descriptive political theology is better suited to study these dynamics and apply this conceptual vocabulary to analyse political-normative debates on Indian secularism and the everyday struggles of religious actors in the violent politics of Sri Lanka's civil war.
In many rural parts of Germany, secularization overlaps with outmigration and population decline. As a result, Christian churches face significant financial pressure in the rural areas near big cities due to plummeting numbers of parish members. Using a case study in the Evangelical Church in Central Germany, we argue that cooperation between different groups of belief helps local communities mitigating worsening socioeconomic circumstances and the withdrawal of finances and church staff.
In 2005 the beatification process of stigmatist Therese Neumann (1898–1962) and the development of her home town as a tourist destination started. The valorisation of a catholic cult as cultural heritage, the negotiation of new forms of EU-European governing by community, and the insistence of locals that the popular saint intervenes in the placemaking by supernatural means show postsecular placemaking as a conflicting process in which devotion is used as a resource as well as an impediment.
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in a German city, this paper addresses practices of governing Muslims and Islam within local politics. It analyses how the political technology of dialogue aims at the integration and formation of Muslim communities and is increasingly deploying the idea of interfaith relations. The paper discusses this approach as a governing through friendship: A practice of involvement that operates through trust-building and the fostering of personal acquaintances and ties.