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CURB Seminar: Public Faith and the Everyday Ethics of Urban Life

Wednesday 6 June 2018, 4.00PM to 5.00pm

Speaker(s): Anna Strhan

In recent years, a number of conservative Christian groups have become increasingly prominent in arguing that Christianity is being marginalised in British society and arguing for the public articulation of faith. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with a large conservative evangelical congregation in central London, this presentation explores conservative evangelicals’ everyday efforts to ‘go public’ with their faith – including their countercultural teachings on gender, sexuality, and other religions – and how their efforts are shaped by their sense of themselves as a persecuted minority in a secular city. Through examining their everyday interactions across a range of urban spaces and how their imaginings of the city are shaped by their faith, we see how conservative evangelicals’ self-identification as ‘aliens and strangers’ in the world both articulates and constructs their ambition to be different from others around them in the city. At the same time, we see how their interactions are simultaneously shaped by secular ethical sensibilities, providing insight into the everyday lived realities of urban religion and the precariousness of attempts to stake out boundaries of moral distinctiveness in the contemporary metropolis.

Anna Strhan joins York in April 2018 as Lecturer in Sociology. Her research includes work on urban religion, religion and childhood, and the relations between religion, nonreligion and secularism. She is the author of Aliens and Strangers? The Struggle for Coherence in the Everyday Lives of Evangelicals (Oxford University Press, 2015) and co-editor of Religion and the Global City (Bloomsbury, 2017).


Location: Wentworth W/222

Admission: FREE - Eventbrite ticket