chapter  8
12 Pages

Turning Religious Differences into a Museum: Aya Sofya

Recently, since the so-called spatial turn, the elaboration of a methodology for studying the relevance of sacred spaces for the development of virtues of appreciation of religious pluralism has been underway (see Greve 2011; Molendijk, Beaumont, Jedan 2010; Knott 2005a). Postsecular sanctuaries are set urban spaces where religious rituals foster social solidarity in cosmopolitan socioscapes. In Chapter 4, I tried to link the reflection on space and the sacred, elaborated in Chapter 3, with that on memory – particularly with the way in which collective memory is constructed – and finally on the way in which social memory is in turn linked to space. Through the thought of Maurice Halbwachs first, and Jeffrey C. Alexander later, I emphasized some key features of collective memory. To recapitulate, they are: reconstruction in the light of the present, contestation and pluralism. Collective memory is the outcome of a reconstruction by specific social groups of a controversial past, aimed at writing and sharing a specific narrative.