Religion, culture, and urban space

Chicago and American religious history beyond 1893

Authored by: Isaiah Ellis

The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Cities

Print publication date:  December  2020
Online publication date:  December  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367367121
eBook ISBN: 9780429351181
Adobe ISBN:


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Chicago’s World Columbian Exposition of 1893, and the World Parliament of Religions that accompanied it, has often placed the city at the center of the story of American religious history. Yet Chicago offers many more instructive examples of the deep imbrication of religious expression, urban culture, and urban form. This essay draws historical threads around and through the pivotal year of 1893, from Chicago’s early history through the development of the city’s unique school of urban sociology in the 1920s. It foregrounds the mutually transformative relationships between its urban fabric and the individual and collective religious expression shaped within it.

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