chapter  2
14 Pages

Clarifying the Postsecular: A Sociological Reading

This chapter points out an interesting feature of the AK Party's politics of sacred spaces. Postsecular sanctuaries are set urban spaces where religious rituals foster social solidarity in cosmopolitan socioscapes. Aya Sofya museum is not only an astonishing architectural heritage of humanity, but also a multi-layered religious symbol, the frozen memory of religious groups. Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine cathedral, is a sacred place at the centre of the memory of Orthodox Christians; Aya Sofya, the mosque, is a sacred place at the centre of the memory of Muslims. The state and future of Aya Sofya has a particularly relevant symbolic meaning, for Turkey of course, but also for a multicultural and multi-religious Europe. Turkey and Europe could speak a common language of pluralism and multi-religiosity and they could elevate Aya Sofya and Cordobas Cathedral-Mosque to magnificent symbols of a past and a present of co-existence symbols against violence and intolerance.