Territories of Faith Workshop


The research group Architectural Cultures of the Recent Past (ARP) of KU Leuven and KADOC, the Documentation and Research Centre on Religion, Culture and Society of KU Leuven, are organizing an international workshop on religion, urban planning and demographic change in post-war Europe. The workshop is part of the PhD project entitled Catholic Territories in a Suburban Landscape: Religion and Urbanization in Belgium, 1945-1975. The workshops aims to offer new insights in how organized religion manages and marks its presence within a given territory.

On 3 and 4 July 2017, nine papers will be presented and discussed as a prelude to an edited volume. The discussion of each paper will be initiated by one invited respondent and two of the participating authors, and then opened to the entire group. The workshop also includes a ½ day tour to some remarkable modern church buildings in the Leuven – Brussels area.

Researchers and practitioners with an interest in the history of religious architecture are welcome to participate in the workshop. Yet due to limited room capacity, registration is required before 2 June 2017 by sending an e-mail to eva.weyns@kuleuven.be. For listeners, there is a fee to cover the costs of food and refreshments (€ 20 for lunch / € 90 for lunch and dinner – to be paid cash at the beginning of the workshop).


09:00 – 10:00   Breakfast, welcome address and introduction

10:00 – 13:00   Session 1. Experiments in the Field: Negotiating on Churches and Urban Planning

  1. Angela Connelly (University of Manchester, UK)
    Planning for Faith in Wythenshawe, Manchester (UK)
  2. Judi Loach (Cardiff University, UK) and Mélanie Meynier-Philip (National School of Architecture of Lyon, France)
    Between Theory and Architectural Practice: The Diocese of Lyon’s Production of New Churches during the Post-war Period
  3. Sofia Singler (University of Cambridge, UK and Alvar Aalto Museum, Finland)
    Constructing Community and Communion: Alvar Aalto’s Cross of the Plains and Finnish Post-war Planning

13:00 – 14:30   Lunch break & guided tour in the KADOC archives

14:30 – 17:30   Session 2. Leaning on Scientific Expertise: Strategic Parish Planning for Growing Cities

  1. Eva Weyns (KU Leuven, Belgium)
    Rethinking the Urban Parish: François Houtart and the Centre de Recherches Socio-Religieuses in Belgium, 1955-1964
  2. Jesús García Herrero (Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain)
    The Pastoral Care Plan in Madrid in 1965: New Parishes for New Citizens
  3. João Alves da Cunha (Portuguese Catholic University, Portugal) and João Luís Marques (University of Porto, Portugal)
    Catholic Parishes in the Lisbon Master Plan of 1959: The SNIP and MRAR Legacy

19:00 Workshop dinner

09:00 – 12:00   Session 3. Speaking with Authority: The Local Impact of Religious and Political Leaders

  1. Alba Arboix Alió (Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain)
    Politics, Church, and City: The Construction of Barcelona under a Dictator (1939 -1975)
  2. Ferdinando Zanzottera (Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy), Umberto Bordoni (Archdiocese of Milan, Scuola Beato Angelico, Arte Cristiana magazine, Italy), Maria Antonietta Crippa (Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy) and Davide Fusari (Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy)
    Experimenting Pastoral Strategies between 1954 and 1963 in the Diocese of Milan
  3. Ellen Rowley (University College Dublin, Ireland)
    Thirty Years Later: Local Government and the Catholic Hierarchy in Ireland: The Case of Galway and Dublin in 1967

12:00 – 13:00   Concluding remarks
13:00 – 14:00   Lunch break

14:00 – 18:00   Excursion

  • 14:15 Don Bosco community centre in Kessel-Lo (Marc Dessauvage, 1966-1970)
  • 15:15 St Carolus’ church in Holsbeek (Marc Dessauvage, 1964-1969)
  • 16:00 Our Lady of Perpetual Help church in Haacht (Paul Felix & Jan Tanghe, 1958-1961)
  • 16:45 St Lambert’s church in Muizen (Lucien Engels, 1960-1966)
  • 17:30 Possibility to drop off people at Mechelen train station
  • 18:00 Arrival in Leuven

Ricardo Agarez (KU Leuven, Belgium), Olivier Chatelan (Université Jean Moulin – Lyon 3, France), Jan De Maeyer (KADOC – KU Leuven, Belgium), Rajesh Heynickx (KU Leuven, Belgium), Andrea Longhi (Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy), Robert Proctor (University of Bath, UK) and Sven Sterken (KU Leuven, Belgium).

KADOC | Vlamingenstraat 39 | 3000 Leuven

Scientific committee
Sven Sterken (KU Leuven), Jan De Maeyer (KADOC – KU Leuven), Peter Heyrman (KADOC – KU Leuven), Olivier Chatelan (Université Jean Moulin – Lyon 3), Robert Proctor (University of Bath), and Rajesh Heynickx (KU Leuven).

Organising committee
Sven Sterken (KU Leuven), Jan De Maeyer (KADOC – KU Leuven), Peter Heyrman (KADOC – KU Leuven), Eva Weyns (KU Leuven).

Eva Weyns | eva.weyns@kuleuven.be | +32 (0)476 68 80 74

Map of Leuven

For more details, the program and transportation guidelines, check out our brochure: Territories of Faith workshop.