Author: urbrel

Woad and Indigo: A Story of Two cities, Two Continents and Decolonisation

— Shail Mayaram Having lived with indigo for some four decades in India, I delighted in Erfurt’s own blue colour, called woad. Woad is a very distinct blue, as in the napkin that graced my table of my IBZ (the University’s International Guest House) flat, a Christmas gift from my…

Subjective and Objective Urbanity?

— Mariia Orobinska The following approaches the concept of urbanity from the angle of paradigmatic analysis in linguistics. It establishes the relationship between subjective and objective aspects of urbanity, which is viewed as a unique feature of a given place and characterized through “charm”, “atmosphere”, and “aesthetics”. A comparative analysis…

The Waqf: Where Religion Meets Urbanity

— Elyse Semerdjian Historians have long studied the institution of pious endowments(waqf, pl. awqaf) as an impactful instrument of urban development in Islamic cities. In the case of the Ottoman Empire, it is estimated that more than 35,000 endowments were established in the imperial capitol (Isin 2011, 222-223). More endowments…

From a letter to an oppressive symbol – notes on >Z

— Claudine Moulin This is the English translation and revised text of an essay published in German in the Journal Aptum. Zeitschrift für Sprachkritik (H2/3 2023, Themenheft: Krieg in der Ukraine. Essayistische Notizen zum Diskurs, 201-209 [printed 1/2024]; DOI: 10.46771/9783967693843_12). The English version was written and discussed with colleagues during…

Hanafi Law and Urbanization in Mughal India

— Naveen Kanalu (EHESS Paris) Hanafi law, one of the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence, which was widely practiced in the Ottoman Empire, was also the imperial legal system of the Mughal Empire (1526-1857) in South Asia. Hanafi law governed property rights of Muslims and non-Muslims alike in the rural…

Emotional Urban Apes – A Different Take on Religion and Urbanity

—-Anders Klostergaard Petersen At the core of the research group Religion and Urbanity at the Max Weber Centre in Erfurt lies a keen interest in the ascription of value to different life forms relating to city and civic life, that is urbanity. Yet such valorisations do not necessarily presuppose one’s…

Workshop Report: Towards a new history of Calicut

—Fathima Thesni The PG & Research Department of History at Farook College (Autonomous) in Calicut, in collaboration with the Centre for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences ‘Religion and Urbanity’, based at the Max Weber Centre in Erfurt (Germany), organized an international book project workshop titled ‘Towards a New…

Urban Ambivalences

—Susanne Rau From 15-17 November 2023, the „Religion and Urbanity“ group held its annual conference on “Ambivalences of Religion“ at the Max Weber Centre in Erfurt. After a welcome by the organisers Elisa Iori and Jörg Rüpke, the programme started with the following opening comments by the spokesperson of the…

Going West: Migrating Personae and Construction of the Self in Rabbinic Culture

— Reuven Kiperwasser I will begin by explaining the title of my book. The title of this book, Going West, was inspired by the Aramaic term used by Babylonian sages for the Land of Israel, ma’arava (west). From the perspective of Babylonia, the Land of Israel is in the West.…

Water as a symbol of Jewish birth – The Mikvah in Erfurt

— Sophie Felgentreu, Nicolaus Zerlaut-Anders This blog post was researched and written by students participating in the 2023 lecture series “Global Exchanges – Trade, Knowledge, and Religion“. The lecture series was organised by Elisa Iori and Mateusz Fafinski of the UrbRel group. What is a Mikvah ? The mikvah is…

Christmas carols

— Jörg Rüpke Sometimes it is the absence that makes the obvious visible. On 4 December 2023, the music stopped at some German Christmas markets, including Erfurt. The reason for this was the protest against the high licence fees for the public – and undoubtedly sales-promoting – playing of music…

Religious Ambivalences: Podcasts I

From 15-17 November 2023, the annual “Religion and Urbanity” conference took place in Erfurt, focusing this time on religious ambivalences, especially with regard to historical instances of “doing religion” in urban contexts. While the individual papers will be published in full in the future, we are happy to share recordings…

Ashokan places in Madhya Pradesh

— Meera Dass The visit by Susanne Rau, professor for Spatial History at Erfurt University, to Bhopal called for a visit to the Mauryan sites around Bhopal. The visit by Susanne Rau, spokesperson of the “Religion and Urbanity: Reciprocal Formations” project at the Max-Weber-Kolleg in Erfurt to which I have…

Sara Keller interviewed by Anish Baheti

KFG post-doc Dr. Sara Keller was interviewed by Anish Baheti for the Podcast “Simplifying Lives”. This podcast is designed to do just two things: Simplify the Complex and Inspire the Uninspired.Producing podcasts every week of up to 30 to 40 minutes in length, subscribers can tune in anytime for some…

Jewish Heritage (11th City Walk)

— Aileen Becker (ORCID 0000-0002-9400-0516) Katharina Pecht shows KFG members the prominent location of the Kleine Synagoge/ Small Synagogue on the Gera (image: Sara Keller) At the beginning of the 2023/24 winter semester, we organised our eleventh city walk, which was dedicated to the topic of “Jewish Heritage”. The occasion…

Robert Wiśniewski’s Lecture on Stealing and Preventing Theft in Late Antique Cities

On Wednesday, the 25th of October, we inaugurated the Erfurt Lectures on Late Antiquity: our new series focusing on the fascinating and complex epoch, stretching between the fourth and the early ninth centuries. Our guest was Robert Wiśniewski, professor for ancient history at the University of Warsaw and a renowned…
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