On religion and hospitality cultures in economic relations

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    Recently prominent scholars (as Beckford 2003, Casanova 2004, Habermas 2008) have offered an argument for integrating the sociology of religion into the corpus of sociology and to rethink religion sociologically. This has given rise to questioning the fact that after the European Enlightenment the connection between modern and secular became not only empirical but normatively embedded in social scientific thinking (Davie 2008). How then can this process be reversed? This paper aims at contributing to the debate with an argument for a historical reconstruction of early modern urbanism with particular focus on the role of religion in economic relations. First, by going back to the classical sociologists Max Weber and Emile Durkheim to discuss their detour into the study of religion when tracing the pre-contractual conditions for contract-making at the market place. It argues for a second look into the late Durkheim’s idea of modernity understood as what what Ozouf (cited in Greve 2011) has called a ‘transfert de sacralité’ – a transfer of sacred identity to new things. This means searching for the sacred force constituted by ritual and drama in the market transaction as well. Second, the paper introduces into a historical study of Copenhagen. It addresses the role of some of the intermediaries in the age of the European trading companies many of whom travelled extensively namely the merchants - with a focus on Port Jews involved in the seafaring and maritime economy (Cesarani 2000). It studies the role of these intermediaries in disseminating the rules of the marketplace from other port cities with direct access to the Atlantic and Indian Ocean. And it takes a closer look into how these rules have structured particular ‘spaces of hospitality’ in the city of Copenhagen.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date15 Jul 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2014
    EventXVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology: Facing and Unequal world - Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan
    Duration: 13 Jul 201419 Jul 2014
    Conference number: XVIII


    ConferenceXVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology
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