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Final PhD seminar Maria Nyström: Transformation and Eternity – Perspectives and Roles in Contemporary Religious Heritage Management

Culture and languages

Very welcome to next week’s final PhD seminar, when Maria Nyström presents her preliminary dissertation script. The seminar will be held in English.

4 Nov 2020
10:00 - 12:00

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Discussant: Professor Tobias Harding, Department of Culture, Religion and Social Studies, University of South-Eastern Norway

Here follows a summary of Maria’s thesis:

In many western countries, the conception of historic churches as cultural heritage and symbols of national and local identities has been closely intertwined with the professionalization of the heritage sector. At present, the heritage sector and the religious congregations face new challenges to manage these buildings as secularization increases and church attendance decreases. This has called for the introduction of new methods and projects to engage with the built religious heritage. Taking this as a point of departure, the purpose of this thesis is to explore contemporary discourses on heritage, change and professional roles by analyzing how these are expressed through practice and policy. Two case studies of contemporary transformation projects that involve actors from the public heritage sector and the Church of Sweden form the basis of the study. Through these case studies, the statements of the key actors are analyzed to identify the interplay of discourses concerning heritage, division of roles and management strategies. Although the empirical material is mostly connected to the Swedish context of built ecclesiastical heritage, the results will shed light on broader developments and challenges within the heritage field.

The purpose of the final seminar is to review the dissertation script before final processing. Maria will begin with a summary of the text, after which the external reviewer, Tobias Harding, submits views on the script in discussion with Maria. There will also be opportunity for other participants to make questions and comments.

For those of you who want to read the script before the seminar, please send an email to Maria at: