The Contestation of Heritage: The Enduring Importance of Religion

Authored by: P.B. Singh Rana

The Ashgate Research Companion to Heritage and Identity

Print publication date:  April  2008
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754649229
eBook ISBN: 9781315613031
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043249


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Globalization, democratization, international and local cultural preservation initiatives, the penetration of the market economy, the commodification of culture, and the politics of religious and ethnic identity impinge upon and shape many of the monumental religious sites in the world today: Lumbini; Borobudur; Angkor Wat; Stonehenge; the great pyramids of Giza; the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya; the Buddhist images at Bamiyan; the mosques and churches in Bosnia; these are only some of the examples (Owens, 2002). The concern of cultural heritage, especially religious built forms, played an active role in the past, but attention to value, use and conservation are said to have emerged in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries from the rubrics of ‘modernity’ (Graham, Ashworth and Tunbridge, 2000). With the ‘cultural turn’ in geography and the parallel ‘turn to place’ in sociology during the 1990s, writers began mapping social relations and heritage constructs, including some issues of contestation.

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