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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Religion and the urban, natural and virtual environments

Pictures by Leonie Geiger (cc by 4.0)

This summer school will discuss the relation between religion and the urban, the natural and the virtual environments. This threefold approach captures three key areas of religious transformation and innovation, which are of high academic and societal relevance in contemporary European societies and beyond: “urban religion”, “green religion” and “digital religion”.

By approaching these three topics, the summer school will provide participants with conceptual and methodological tools to reflect on the changing dynamics between religion and the urban, natural and virtual environments. The lecturers are experts on one of these domains and will share their findings and experiences from their own research.

Some of the questions that the summer school will discuss are the following:

Urban Religion

  • How does the urban environment affect religious practices and, conversely, how do religious practices and groups transform the urban environment?
  • How do tourism, heritage industries and gentrification processes produce and transform urban religious heritage?

Green Religion

  • How do religious groups relate to the natural environment?
  • How do religions see and interpret the ecological crisis and which alternatives do they suggest? Which forms does faith-based environmentalism take?

Digital Religion

  • How do the virtual environment and religion interact with and affect one another?
  • How does the virtual environment influence how we understand the idea of “religious community” and community in general? How are religion and the concept of religion affected and challenged by the increasingly digitalized world?

Summer school participants will have the privilege to participate in the bi-annual conference of the Research Network 34 – Sociology of Religion pertaining to the European Sociological Association, where they will be able to meet and exchange with numerous scholars in their field of interest.

Practical information

Dates & location 24 - 28 August 2020, Groningen the Netherlands
Level (Research) Master, PhD
Fee € 100 (excluding housing, ESA-member students)
€ 175 (excluding housing, non-ESA-member students)
€ 75 University of Groningen students
Academic coordinators Dr. Julia Martínez - Ariño, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies

This school is designed for Master and PhD students.
It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Picture by Leonie Geiger (cc by 4.0)
Picture by Leonie Geiger (cc by 4.0)

The workload is estimated at 28 hours:
Preparation: 3 hours
Lectures: 24 hours
Presentation: 1 hours

Participants who participate in all sessions will receive a certificate of attendance signed by the coordinators of the summer school. Upon request the certificate can mention the workload of 28 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Picture by Leonie Geiger (cc by 4.0)
Picture by Leonie Geiger (cc by 4.0)

Groningen is a busy city, especially the last week of August, when all students are back in town. Therefore, we would like to help you with organising the accommodation for your stay in Groningen.

We can book accommodation for you in two hostels, which are located near the city centre and the University of Groningen, where the summer school will take place. Each of them offers different options and prices, arriving on Sunday 23, and departing on Saturday 29:

Bud Gett Hostel :

  • Single room with private shower and toilet= € 390 per person
  • Double room for 2 persons with private shower and toilet = € 215 per person
  • Triple room with private shower and toilet = € 210 per person

(All the prices above include breakfast. The tourist tax of € 3,70 per person per night is excluded)

Simplon Hostel :

  • Twin room with shared shower and toilet = € 185 per person
  • Triple room with shared shower and toilet = € 180 per person

(All the prices above include breakfast. The tourist tax of € 3,70 per person per night is excluded)

Please indicate in your application whether you want us to book your housing. Please, let us know if you are coming in groups or pairs, and if there is someone you’d like to share a room with (there is a limited number of single rooms, so those who choose that option and register and pay first, will have the priority).

You are required to identify yourself with a valid ID /passport/drivers licence at check-in.

Application procedure

The deadline for application for the summer school is 30 April 2020. Selection will take place on 15 May 2020.
To apply, kindly fill out the online application form. Please note that you will be asked to upload:

  • Curriculum Vitae (max. 2 pages)
  • Motivation letter, clearly stating why you want to join this summer school, what you will bring to the school and what you hope to learn (max. 1 page)


This summer school is connected to the Master Track Religion, Conflict and Globalization.

Last modified:10 December 2019 1.35 p.m.