Public Expressions of Evangelical Religiosity in European Modern-Day Cities. the Case of Barcelona.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Antonio MONTAÑES JIMENEZ, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain
Ramon MACIA, autonomous university of barcelona, Spain
Theories of secularization predicted an unpromising future for religion. However, contemporary urban spaces are filled with a growing array of religious expressions and symbols that are indicative of the global revitalization of religious identities, and the religious pluralization of modern-day cities. Following this trend, Catalonia (Spain) has recently borne witness to an exponential growth of religious plurality and non-catholic religious minorities across the region, particularly within its capital city, Barcelona. Evangelical churches are arguably the predominant driving force behind Barcelona´s new religious vitality, outnumbering any other non- catholic confession and denomination in terms of visibility, religious centers and presence in the street. The present research explores and analyzes the most visible dimension of contemporary evangelical religious communities: the organization of activities, concerts, events, street campaigns and celebrations in public space. The main aim is to identify and explain the strategies of gaining visibility and the repertoires of mobilization that evangelical religious communities employ in urban public space, as well as how these strategies and repertoires have changed in recent years. This project is markedly innovative in the field of religious studies and will contribute to the creation of scientific knowledge regarding contemporary religious transformations and their impact on public space. Research methodology includes discourse analysis of interviews, faith-based pamphlets and web pages official statements. This paper is part of a Spanish government-funded project entitled “The place of Religion in open urban spaces: A comparative case study of public Religious Acts and Celebrations in Madrid and Barcelona”.