Helena Wangefelt Ström: Religion as heritage: between cult and culture.

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Engelska parken Inst. seminarierum 4-2007
  • Contact person: Isto Huvila
  • Phone: 018-4713420
  • Seminarium

Presentation of the PhD thesis under development Lighting candles before a headless Jesus. Enchanted heritage, disenchanted sacredness, and the journey in-between.

Helena Wangefelt Ström is a PhD student in Museology at the department for Culture and Media Studies at Umeå university. In her thesis ​Helena investigates what happens when religion is transferred between sacredness and heritage, and what consequences this brings for, for example, museums and religious tourist destinations. Part of the work deals with the historical background to these processes, by means of a study of Rome and Venice and the increasing number of tourists in the 17th century. A number of interacting factors (what Bruno Latour refers to as "agent collectives") such as, for example, art collecting, emerging tourism, Counter Reformation and festivals within the Catholic church, and an increasing interest in material memories of the past, contributed to a re-contextualization of religion and its various expressions and an emphasis more on art, history and materiality than on sacredness and religious uses. This leads on to a discussion about identity and uses in society of today, and what challenges they may bring for different stake holders within the heritage sector.