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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

The Challenges of the Secular, Religious and Historic Urban Environment

26th October 2012, 09:00 to 19:00, Senate Suite, University College, Durham University.

Both personal and community identities are formed through landscapes, tangible objects and intangible legacies, and they have become key elements in understanding our past and its associated environment. The key role of heritage and its potential to unite and create a sense of community may also result in conflict and divisions between communities.

Tensions, for instance, may arise over who would control stewardship and the benefits of heritage, and how conflicts between different ethnic, religious and national stakeholders could be resolved. These disputes shape and inform the ethical and legal framework of heritage. Durham WHS is an urban, religious site, with secular and religious historical importance. It remains active as a place of worship, and has long been a centre of learning. Such a site presents particular challenges in terms of management but also an opportunity to develop strategies for promoting active research that may have applications at similarly complex sites that share common attributes. This one day workshop brings together international experts to debate the broad issues of collaborative stewardship shared between secular, religious and educational authorities and the unique opportunities this offers and will assess the need for collaborative understanding of heritage values in relation to religious stakeholders and local communities.

Attendance £10 (students free). Pay on arrival.
Please note maximum audience of 50 – please RSVP to

The meeting is organized by Durham University’s Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Centre for the Ethics of Cultural Heritage in collaboration with UNESCO (see UNESCO link The Meeting is scheduled for 26 October 2012 as part of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention

Contact for more information about this event.