Between Desert and City: Building Churches in the Arabian Peninsula

20.10.2020 12:00 - English

Berit Thorbjørnsrud (UiO)

Church building is a controversial issue in the Arabian Peninsula. Churches should, in principle, be built in such as a way as to be unrecognizable as
churches. Although generally built on land donated by the royal families, all churches are subject to restrictions regarding location and architecture and ordinances against making sounds. But why such a paradoxical policy?

Why subsidize churches and yet submit them to restrictions making them “invisible?” What do such anonymized churches really look like? Differing views among both Christians and Muslims concerning which architectural elements actually transform a building into a church nevertheless allow space for creative use of some Christian symbols.

Join on Zoom here.

Berit Thorbjørnsrud
is professor at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo.

This event is free and open to all. It is possible to attend both physically and digitally.

Please note, that according to the COVID-19 regulations all participants must keep a distance of at least one metre from each other and maintain good hand hygiene. We also need to have an overview of who is present at all times, so for those who attend physically, we will register their names and phone numbers and keep it for 10 days. You can sign up for the event via

this link.

If you have any respiratory tract symptoms you should stay at home.

Photo credit: Berit Thorbjørnsrud
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Event info.

Bergen Global
Jekteviksbakken 31, Bergen

Add to calendar 20.10.2020, 20.10.2020

Bergen Global is a joint initiative between the University of Bergen and Chr. Michelsen Institute that addresses global challenges.