Daan Beekers is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh. Before coming to Edinburgh he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Religious Studies in Utrecht. There he researched the abandonment and repurposing of church buildings, first within the HERA project Iconic Religion and then in Birgit Meyer’s research programme Religious Matters in an Entangled World. His doctoral dissertation, defended in 2015 at VU Amsterdam, was a comparative ethnographic study of religious commitment among young Dutch Muslims and Christians. Daan is currently completing a book manuscript based on this work. His publications include the volume Straying from the straight path: How senses of failure invigorate lived religion (Berghahn), which he co-edited with David Kloos.
Listeners to the Religious Studies Project, particularly in a European context, might be quite familiar with the sight of a former church building that has now turned derelict, or is being used for a purposes that perhaps it wasn’t intended for, or is being rejuvenated by another ‘religious’ community, another Christian community, or put to some other use. Chris is joined today by Daan Beekers to discuss spatial contestations and conversions, particularly looking at (former) church buildings in the Dutch context.