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When God Comes to Town: Religious Traditions in Urban Contexts

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Volume 4

Culture and Politics/Politics and Culture

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When God Comes to Town

Religious Traditions in Urban Contexts

Edited by Rik Pinxten and Lisa Dikomitis

166 pages, 12 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-554-5 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (May 2009)

ISBN  978-0-85745-807-0 $29.95/£23.95 / Pb / Published (September 2012)

eISBN 978-1-84545-920-8 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


The strength of the book lies in its treatment of a crucial topic through historical and ethnographic material which is drawn from various cross-cultural case studies illustrating the vastness of the issue in question…offer[ing] a wealth of material on the dynamic relationship between religious traditions and urban contexts around the world.”  ·  Journal of Contemporary Religion

This book is a neat little volume with clear localized case studies…showing how urbanization generally influences the religiosity of everyday life in modern urban centres… In general, the book is easy to read and suitable as a student reader or an academic or postgraduate reference text. It is high time that anthropologists consider modern urban religiosity and its contested spatial practices with the seriousness they deserve.”  ·  JRAI


Around 1800 roughly three per cent of the human population lived in urban areas; by 2030 this number is expected to have gone up to some seventy per cent. This poses problems for traditional religions that are all rooted in rural, small-scale societies. The authors in this volume question what the possible appeal of these old religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, or Islam could be in the new urban environment and, conversely, what impact global urbanization will have on learning and on the performance and nature of ritual. Anthropologists, historians and political scientists have come together in this volume to analyse attempts made by churches and informal groups to adapt to these changes and, at the same time, to explore new ways to study religions in a largely urbanized environment.

Rik Pinxten is Professor and Senior Researcher in Anthropology and Head of Department of Comparative Sciences of Culture at Ghent University, Belgium. His current research focus is on identity as a central mechanism in cultural and religious learning processes. He has published widely on the anthropology of knowledge and the comparative study of religion.

Lisa Dikomitis is Postdoctoral Researcher at the Hull York Medical School where she works on a project researching social responses to health inequalities. She has published widely about Greek and Turkish Cypriot refugees and is the author of Cyprus and Its Places of Desire. Cultures of Displacement Among Greek and Turkish Cypriot Refugees (IB Tauris, 2012).

Subject: Urban StudiesAnthropology of ReligionAnthropology (General)Sociology


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